Detention Alternatives Initiative

The Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department's continuum of detention alternative programs has earned the Circuit Court of Cook County designation as one of three model learning sites by the Annie E. Casey Foundation among court jurisdictions nationwide. The following programs enable the court to divert minors from detention into constructive community-based counseling, treatment and residential care.
The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives (JDAI) were developed for use by judges during pre-adjudication through post-dispositional stages of proceedings.  These include: court notification; community supervision; home confinement with electronic monitoring; evening reporting centers; Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (S.W.A.P.); KARE and the staff secure shelter. 

JDAI help desk link:
Court Notification
After arraignment, all minors are sent written notice in advance of every court hearing during the pre-adjudication stage of proceedings.
Pretrial Services
Community-based agencies provide advocates who perform court-ordered supervision of pre-adjudicated minors for up to ten hours per week through recreational or social activities.  

Detention Screening
When a juvenile is arrested and presented by a law enforcement officer for detention, the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department applies an objective risk assessment instrument to determine which juveniles require secure detention for up to 40 hours pending a judicial hearing. 

Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring (EM)

Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring Day/Evening can be ordered by the court as an alternative to secure detention for minors who are non compliant with the court’s pre-adjudicatory and pre-dispositional directive or whom have violated post dispositional conditions. 

The department began using GPS technology for electronic monitoring in January 2010.  The GPS bracelets consist of a one-piece unit which must be charged two (2) hours per day.  The department can determine when a minor enters and leaves the home as well as provide the location of a minor every three (3) minutes.

Detention Review

Detention Review provides appropriate community based programming and reduces unnecessary dentition time for minors.  Detention Review is an administrative release process facilitated by the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department which expedites a pre-identified minor's release from secure detention into an alternative program without compromising public safety. A minor can be released into one of the following programs: 1) Home confinement with Electronic Monitoring; 2) Saura Center; 3) Evening Reporting Center; 4) KARE; and  5) Department of Human Services. 

Evening Reporting Centers
The Evening Reporting Centers are community-based alternative detention sites that operate in partnership with sponsoring social service organizations. The centers provide nonviolent minors with highly structured and well supervised group activities during high risk periods. The program's goal is to reduce the likelihood of re-arrest and to allow minors to continue to attend school and remain at home. Juveniles are supervised five days per week from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in five Chicago locations and one suburban location. Staff members offer minors educational activities, recreational programming and life development workshops.  

Sheriff's Work Alternative Program for Juveniles (S.W.A.P.)
Male minors who would otherwise face a term of secure detention can be referred to the S.W.A.P. program by judicial order. Probationers between the ages of 13 and 21 perform simple cleaning or maintenance projects in and around city parks under the supervision of Cook County Sheriff's deputies. S.W.A.P. participants are organized in small groups which maintain a 5:1 ratio of juveniles to Sheriff's deputies. A parent or guardian must sign a formal consent authorizing a minor's participation in S.W.A.P. Juveniles participate in S.W.A.P. for the same number of days (5 day minimum - 30 day maximum) as they would otherwise be detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. S.W.A.P. operates year round on the weekends only from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Staff Secure Shelter
The Manual Saura Center was established, in conjunction with Heartland Alliance, to operate a temporary shelter for juveniles who would otherwise be detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention.  Male and female minors who are placed in the shelter include those whose circumstances merit this alternative to detention, minors who have not been successfully reunified with a parent, and detained minors who are within 30 days of placement into a non-secure setting. While at the shelter, minors receive educational instruction, recreation, life skills instruction, counseling and transportation to court and other required appointments.  

Kaleidoscope Alternative Respite  (KARE)
In April 2010, the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department, along with Kaleidoscope, designed a program which provides short term foster family homes for females who cannot safely return to their current residence but also do not require secure detention.  The Kaleidoscope staff ensure all medical, psychiatric, therapeutic, school and transportation needs to school and court are met.  The program was expanded to include males in October 2011.

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