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October 14, 2016

The state Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) was responsible for jailing 65 percent fewer youth in the New Jersey juvenile detention system last year than in 2014. That equates to 7,500 fewer juveniles admitted to the system, 89.1 percent of whom are youth of color. It also means that, on a daily basis, there were 536 fewer juveniles in the system. JDAI is a national program that develops alternatives to housing delinquent youth in juvenile jails – which are saved for only the most serious and chronic offenders. Instead, JDAI provides strategies that not only work to provide correction but also reform for troubled youth. Such strategies include electronic monitoring, home detention and counseling, among others. The program not only has reduced the rate of reoffenders, but also has reduced costs significantly and a number of New Jersey counties have been able to close their detention facilities.

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