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    Welcome to the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

    What is JDAI?

    The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) began two decades ago as a pilot project to reduce reliance on local confinement of court-involved youth. The Bernalillo County juvenile justice system is one of the initial pilot sites for JDAI reform. This jurisdiction is now a National Model Site and the JDAI change model is now operating in nearly 300 counties nationwide, dramatically reducing detention facility populations.

    During the last ten years the results in Bernalillo County have been impressive, with the detention population dropping from a daily average of 114 in 2000 to 63 in 2010, the number of youth presented for booking for detention from 4,335 in 2000 to 2,278 in 2010, all referrals to Juvenile Probation Office declining from 10,100 in 2000 to 6,570 in 2010, and the number of formal charges or revocations of probation filed by the District Attorney’s Office declining from 3,663 in 2000 to 2,116 in 2010.

    The results were so impressive that in 2005 the AECF named the Bernalillo County Youth Services Center (YSC) as a national JDAI model site joining Santa Cruz, California, Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. Delegations from other states considering implementing JDAI in their local regions now visit the YSC to learn more about the JDAI program.

    The Bernalillo County Juvenile Justice System has saved the taxpayers millions of dollars by abandoning the old model of inappropriately detaining youth and expanding the number of juvenile detention beds to adopting the JDAI model, with no adverse effect on public safety or reduction in youth accountability.

    Learn more about the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative: "Smaller, Smarter and More Strategic: Juvenile Justice Reform in Bernalillo County"

    The JDAI model is built around the following eight core strategies:

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