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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's Juvenile Justice Work

Rhode Island Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

Beginning in 2009, Rhode Island juvenile justice stakeholders have engaged in a comprehensive and detailed review of the policies and practices that govern the operation of their system. This self-exploration has resulted in their joining in a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundationís Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to provide technical assistance to support their system transformation.

Since beginning the work, Rhode Island has realized significant achievements, among these have been: the formulation of a strong and active collaborative (Steering Committee); development of a Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI) to make detention admissions decisions more objective, and; engagement of systems stakeholders and community-based partners in the system transformation work.

The Rhode Island JDAI Steering Committee includes representatives of key system stakeholders, including RI Family Court, RI Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), the Attorney Generalís Office, the Public Defenderís Office, the Providence Police Department, the Office of the Child Advocate, and other agencies and providers. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT serves as the coordinator of the Rhode Island JDAI.

Background on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

Since 1992, the Annie E. Casey Foundationís Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) has worked in jurisdictions across the U.S. to strengthen juvenile justice systems, make communities safer, help youth, and save tax dollars.

JDAI promotes system-wide reform by focusing on a variety of ways to safely reduce reliance on detention, which many consider to be the gateway to the juvenile justice systemís "deep end." JDAI has shown that jurisdictions can safely reduce reliance on secure detention, and use those efforts to strengthen juvenile justice systems overall.

JDAI works because it engages multiple stakeholders, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, elected officials, and community representatives, in the search for more efficient and effective programs, policies, and practices that can reduce inappropriate detention, improve public safety, and save money.

JDAI efforts are under way in more than 100 jurisdictions in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

 Publications by the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative: A Successful Approach to Comprehensive Reform

Detention Reform Brief: A Cost-Saving Approach

Detention Reform Brief: An Effective Public Safety Strategy

Detention Reform Brief: An Effective Approach to Reduce Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Juvenile Justice