A national juvenile justice initiative is helping reduce the number of young offenders being jailed after arrest, reports the Washington Post. Promoted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Justice Detention Alternatives Initiative has since 1989 sought to limit the number of juveniles locked up after they’ve been arrested. Officials and experts have said that detaining a juvenile, even for a few days, can have considerable long-term consequences and therefore should happen only when essential to public safety.
The report released Wednesday by the Casey Foundation comes as juvenile justice officials were meeting in Washington to discuss the initiative. Judge William M. Jackson, who heads D.C. Family Court, said the initiative has been effective. “There’s a lot more that can be done, but I think we’ve made substantial progress in making sure that only those juveniles that need to be detained for community’s safety reasons are detained,” Jackson said.