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Albany County and Community Partners Announce Innovative Juvenile Detention Alternative Program

January 22, 2014

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy and the Honorable Gerard E. Maney, Supervising Judge of the Family Courts in the Third Judicial District, the Department for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) today announced the launch of an innovative program that will determine the best way for the county to reduce the number of youth placed in secure detention facilities.  

Albany County has been selected by the state Office of Children and Family Services Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth to be one of six Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) sites in New York. Sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, JDAI has proven to be successful in other areas of the country. 

The initiative has been in place for 20 years and seeks to promote change in policies, practices, and programs to: reduce reliance on secure confinement; improve public safety; reduce racial disparities and bias; save taxpayers’ dollars; and stimulate overall juvenile justice reforms.  

"The DCYF has really been in the forefront of working with community stakeholders and the state to develop and implement policies that will improve our juvenile justice system, protect our community and ensure that our youth can turn their lives around,” said McCoy. “The JDAI program will help the county lower the cost of secure detention for youth and implement policies that reduce recidivism at the same time.”      

"Our juvenile justice system has relied on detention as a dispositional alternative for youth for far too long," said Judge Maney.  "The JDAI initiative will give Albany County and its family court the tools to implement effective, efficient and humane responses to delinquency that will ultimately provide better outcomes for youth, their families and our community.”  

The JDAI announcement is the second significant announcement from the county in the area of juvenile justice. In December, the county announced Project Growth, a program that uses community partnerships to ensure that juveniles pay restitution for their crimes. The county is working with community partners to provide workforce training to make sure young offenders make restitution to crime victims and prevent re-offense.        

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