Data Driven Decisions


JDAI depends upon objective data analysis to inform the development and oversight of policy, practice and programs. Data on detention population, utilization and operations is collected to provide a portrait of who is being detained and why, and to monitor the impacts of policies and practices. As a results-based initiative, JDAI establishes and tracks performance measures. All data is disaggregated by race/ethnicity and gender to monitor disparities in the system.


 Tools & Resources


Detention Utilization Study (DUS)


JDAI depends on objective data analysis to guide detention reform planning and policy development. At the outset of the JDAI work, and periodically thereafter, sites collect detailed, comprehensive data on their detention population, utilization and operations. They thoroughly analyze this data to gain insight about who is being detained and why, and to identify areas where opportunities to reduce unnecessary detention could exist.

See JDAI Pathway #7 and the Guide to Detention Utilization Studies to learn more.

Daily Population Counts

JDAI sites establish regular, on-going reporting on detention admissions, releases, average lengths of stay and average daily population. All indicators are disaggregated by gender, race / ethnicity, and offense or other reason for detention. Daily population counts are snapshots of who is being held in detention, why and for how long, and can be used by detention administration to provide updates to JDAI stakeholders and committees.

System Assessment

JDAI sites conduct a comprehensive, qualitative assessment by examining juvenile case processing, detention utilization, probation practice and other system components related to detention policies and practices. A report, outlining the assessment process, analyses and recommendations for next steps is then shared with the JDAI governing collaborative for discussion, approval and implementation. This becomes the basis for a site's work plan.

Quarterly Reports

JDAI sites establish routine and accurate reporting to monitor new programs and practices related to the following and all indicators are disaggregated by gender, race / ethnicity, and offense:
1) Detention utilization
2) The risk assessment instrument screening process, including all screening decisions by assessed risk level, overrides of the risk assessment instruments, and the number of referrals that are not screened
3) Utilization of detention alternative programs, including the number of youth referred, the number that successfully complete the programs, the reasons for unsuccessful completion (Failure-to-Appear and Re-arrest rates), and program-by-program utilization metrics. All indicators are disaggregated by program, gender, race / ethnicity, and offense or other reason for detention referral.


Annual Results Report


JDAI Helpdesk at the Pretrial Justice Institute
305 Main Street, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Tel: 240-477-7152 | E-mail: