Health And Public Safety

Annie E. Casey JDAI Deep End Site Visit and Technical Assistance

1:14 PM

In 2013, the Annie E. Casey Foundation began working with a few experienced Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) sites, including the Bernalillo County JDAI National Model Site, to expand their detention reform efforts to the “deep end” of the system. The expansion of JDAI to the deep end is grounded in the framework of goals objectives and values described below. As in JDAI, each site’s specific path to reform will vary based on unique local circumstances, but the sites are united by the goals, objectives, values, and core elements laid out in this framework.

To support each site’s progress, the Foundation has identified core values and decision-points that are essential to deep end reform, as well as developmental milestones to guide sites through the deep end reform process.

Deep End Goals

  • Significantly reduced reliance on out-of-home placements
  • Safe and healthy adolescent development



  • Elimination of racial/ethnic disparities
  • Safe communities
  • Sustained commitment to JDAI detention reform



Deep End Objectives

  • Ensuring that decisions to remove youth from their homes are informed by objective assessments of risk and other structured tools, and that such decisions are made only when a less restrictive option is not possible
  • Examining probation practice to minimize the number of youth in out-of-home placements due to violations of probation (VOPs)
  • Establishing a more robust, targeted, and effective continuum of community-based interventions
  • Improving public safety outcomes by reducing recidivism rates
  • Eliminating racial, ethnic, and gender disparities
  • Increasing juvenile justice system accountability for long-term youth well-being
  • For those youth who are removed from their homes, ensuring that they are held in facilities that are safe, humane, small, and close to home

Deep End Values

  1. Collaboration Does the JDAI/Deep End collaborative include a diverse group of juvenile justice stakeholders, community representatives, and youth & families impacted by the system? Are all of those stakeholders meaningfully engaged in the development, implementation, and evaluation of juvenile justice policy and practice?
  2. Data-Driven Policy and Practice Do practitioners have access to comprehensive deep end data and statistics, including demographic information, most serious current offense, prior history, risk-level, placement, and length of stay? Does capacity exist to conduct in-depth analyses of that data? Is the data made available to stakeholders and regularly used to inform decision-making about policy/practice change, and to evaluate policies, practices, and programs that are already in place?
  3. Racial & Ethnic Equity Is racial/ethnic equity prioritized in the development and evaluation of existing policy, practice, and programming? Do system stakeholders consistently monitor issues of racial disparity, seek meaningful input from community partners, and work to design and implement solutions to achieve greater equity for all youth?
  4. Youth Development Does the system hold itself accountable to the ethical standard of “first, do no harm” when it comes to court-involved youth? Are policies, practices and programs examined to ensure they do not derail safe and healthy adolescent development? Are those policies, practices and programs developmentally appropriate for youth? Does the system seek and measure positive achievements and outcomes for youth?
  5. Family Engagement Are families treated as true partners in individual cases? Does the system make affirmative efforts to ensure that families have a meaningful voice in the decision-making process – both at a case-level and at a systems-reform level? Is family defined broadly to include supportive adults and siblings, not just biological parents?
  6. Defense Advocacy

Do system-involved youth have prompt access to well-trained defense attorneys that advocate on their behalf and help them navigate the highly complex legal system while ensuring that the young people’s voices are heard? Do juvenile defense attorneys develop their own dispositional recommendations for the court’s consideration? Are those plans developed in consultation with youth? Are they presented to the court in writing? Do juvenile defense attorneys continue to actively represent youth post-disposition?

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