Good News About Strategic Planning In Juvenile Justice: The Jurisdictional Planning Assistance

In 1995, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded a grant to the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) and the Youth Law Center (YLC) to implement a time-limited, problem-specific intervention with smaller jurisdictions to prevent and reduce crowding in juvenile detention facilities. The evolution of this project led to the reorganization of the Center for Research & Professional Development and to the emergence of a slightly different approach to detention reform. Using many of the reform strategies developed through the JDAI, NJDA-YLC targeted smaller, rural-urban jurisdictions with a brief intervention that emphasized systemic change. The strategy moved beyond
detention issues to include all juvenile confinement options available to the local juvenile justice jurisdiction, thus expanding the JDAI detention reform concepts to include all out-of-home placements. The mark of success was the jurisdiction’s reinvestment of secure placement funds into an expanded continuum of services or the decision not to build a bigger detention facility.