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November 7, 2014

Since implementing a new program known as the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, New Jersey has had 71 percent fewer juvenile incarcerations.

The program, which is being funded in large part by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, offers the courts alternative detention methods, such as electronic monitoring, home detention, and reporting centers. It also offers other youth programming efforts aimed at keeping young people out of jail.

Since being adopted in New Jersey, the program has also allowed the state to close five of its juvenile detention facilities. Cost savings can be significant. For instance, Passaic closed its 45-bed facility in 2009 and agreed to send youth to nearby Essex County. Passaic saved $9.1 million a year while paying Essex County about $3.8 million a year in fees.

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