Special Detention Cases

"Special detention cases" are those cases that commonly represent large percentages of inappropriate or unnecessary stays in detention. Data analysis typically directs jurisdictions to focus on those youth detained on warrants, for probation violations, or pending dispositional placement. Addressing these cases can have immediate and significant impact on safely reducing detention populations.​​

 Tools & Resources

  JDAI Fundamentals Training

​Best Practices

Response Grids

Sanctions/incentives grids are structured decision-making guides to help probation officers respond more effectively and consistently to probation violations, and to reduce the frequency with which those violations result in inappropriate secure detention. Grids incorporate structured assessment of the youth’s level of risk and the severity of their misconduct on probation; allow for a wide range of responses and sanctions short of secure detention, including non-judicial options (e.g. administrative admonishment, enhanced contact requirements, community service, ATD programs) and judicial options (e.g. judicial admonishment, house arrest); include incentives for good conduct as well as sanctions for misconduct; and seek to ensure that responses to the youth’s behavior occur as immediately as possible, both to minimize delay and to maximize the impact on youth behavior. ​​

Court Notification Systems

Court notification systems are a common strategy implemented by many jurisdictions to reduce the number of failures to appear. Court notification systems use a variety of methods to remind youth of their court dates/times and to facilitate their appearance.​​

Differential Warrant Policies

JDAI sites develop court policies that differentiate how warrants can be handled, based on the risk that the youth poses to public safety and the circumstances prompting issuance of the warrant. Rather than having all youth brought to detention when they are picked up on a warrant, differential policies allow some youth to be summoned into court directly, or held in a non-secure setting until they appear before the judge who issued the warrant. ​​

Dispositional Planning

This includes efforts to reform the “deep end” of the system that are focused on safely reducing post-dispositional incarceration and other forms of out-of-home placement. ​​
JDAI Helpdesk at the Pretrial Justice Institute
305 Main Street, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Tel: 240-477-7152 | E-mail: jdaihelpdesk@pretrial.org