Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

The intent of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is to change policies, practices and programs so as to ensure that only those youth who are the greatest risk to public safety are held in secure pre-trial detention. The overall goals are to protect public safety, reduce the unnecessary or inappropriate use of secure detention, and to re-direct public finances to more effective purposes. The effort, a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is grounded in eight core strategies including collaboration; reliance on data; objective admissions screening; alternatives to secure detention; expedited case processing; rigorous facility inspections; and strategies to reduce racial disparities where they exist. DJJ serves as a coordinating center for detention reform efforts at the local level, accomplished through partnerships among all key stakeholders. Current efforts are focused on seven detention facilities serving eight jurisdictions (Newport News Detention serving Hampton and Newport News; Richmond Detention serving the City of Richmond; Crater Detention serving Petersburg; Norfolk Detention serving the City of Norfolk; Virginia Beach Detention serving the City of Virginia Beach, Loudoun Detention serving Loudoun County and Roanoke Detention serving the City of Roanoke). Results since the project began in late 2003 include significant reductions in detention admissions, length of stay and average daily population. DJJ is currently exploring expansion of this program to additional localities.

Contact Info

Beth Mohler Stinnett, Program Manager
(804) 371-0700

Jenna Easton, JDAI Coordinator
(804) 588-3895

Hampton JDAI
Ellen Madison, Coordinator

Loudoun JDAI
Michelle Smith, Co-Coordinator
Frank Shumaker, Co-Coordinator

Newport News JDAI
Lotus Wheeler, Coordinator

Norfolk JDAI
Theresa McBride, Coordinator

Petersburg JDAI
Colleen Hazard, Coordinator

Richmond JDAI
Kim Russo, Coordinator

Virginia Beach JDAI
Olymphia Perkins, Coordinator


JDAI Help Desk - a practice-based, informational resource for advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and others interested in improving the detention component of their delinquency system

Celebrating 6 Years of JDAI in Virginia, 2003-2009