Ramsey County, Minnesota
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

Creating Better Outcomes for Children and Community in Ramsey County
25 West 7th Street | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
Telephone: 651-266-5307 | AskJDAI@co.ramsey.mn.us

JDAI Logo Ramsey County, Minnesota

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

Creating Better Outcomes for Children and Community in Ramsey County

Ramsey County JDAI Strategy


Picture of youthThe Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) seeks to reduce the over-reliance on secure detention of juveniles and to eliminate racial, ethnic, and gender disparities wherever present.

Led by a diverse group of committed leaders, Ramsey County has been engaged in a multi-year effort to safely minimize populations in our juvenile correctional facilities through fairer, better informed system policies and practices, and the use of effective community-based alternatives. This system reform effort, JDAI, is a nationally recognized, evidence-based project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Minnesota State Office of Justice Programs, the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, and Ramsey County Community Corrections.


The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners agreed in a 2005 Board Resolution to adopt JDAI as a strategy for combating disproportionate minority contact (DMC).

Picture of kids in JDCJDAI has a proven record of reducing unnecessary reliance on secure detention in a wide range of jurisdictions across the nation. Since the first three JDAI demonstration projects launched in 1992, more than 130 sites have seen their average daily populations (ADP) in secure detention decrease dramatically, while key public safety indicators, such as re-arrest rates, have generally improved.


A progress report entitled Two Decades of JDAI: From Demonstration Project to National Standard (PDF) was published in 2009. It outlines the accomplishments of JDAI sites. There are impressive results that include:

  • A greater cooperation among agencies
  • An increased reliance on data, measurement and evaluation
  • Greater transparency
  • A stronger emphasis on educating everyone about the processes of the juvenile justice system, and an
  • Unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration among staff, leadership and community members


More Information

Purpose of Secure Detention


In accordance with the Ramsey County Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI), Ramsey County will use secure detention for juveniles who have committed a law violation and are at risk of:

  • Reoffending before their next court date, or
  • Failing to appear in court


Ramsey County JDAI/DMC Mission, Purpose & Principles


PDF IconRamsey County JDAI/DMC Mission, Purpose & Principles are available for download in the following languages:


Readiness Assessment Consultation


PDF IconReadiness Assessment
Consultation (RAC) Report
(PDF) submitted by the W. Haywood Burns Institute




Decision Point Analysis


PDF IconA Decision Point Analysis (PDF) was conducted as one of many strategies used to help achieve juvenile justice reform.