Core Strategies & Guiding Principles

JDAI sites pursue eight interrelated core strategies to accomplish objectives. Ramsey County added a ninth strategy to adhere to its focus on eliminating racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system.

  1. Collaboration
  2. Use of accurate data
  3. Objective admissions criteria and instruments
  4. New or enhanced non-secure alternatives to detention
  5. Case processing reforms
  6. Special detention cases
  7. Reducing racial disparities
  8. Improving conditions of confinement
  9. Community engagement

Guiding principles

Established in 2007 and revised in 2010, the Guiding Principles reflect the Collaborative's overarching goals and strategies for providing safer communities. 

  • The core purposes of the juvenile justice system are to promote public safety and reduce juvenile delinquency by developing individual responsibility and accountability. The purposes must be pursued through just and fair means that recognize the unique characteristics and needs of juveniles.
  • Juveniles who violate the law need to be held accountable. However, non-essential incarceration has been shown to do further damage to juveniles at great expense to taxpayers and public safety. Effective community-based alternatives are necessary to enhance and promote public safety as well as achieve better long-term outcomes for juveniles.
  • To ensure secure detention is used only when appropriate, there is an immediate and critical need to develop viable alternatives for juveniles who are in immediate danger but at low-risk of re-offense. It is a priority of this initiative to develop alternatives for these juveniles, including secure alternatives (such as staff-secure shelters) when necessary.
  • Ramsey County JDAI is an initiative that strives to eliminate bias and ensure that all juveniles in the juvenile justice system - regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion or physical ability - are treated fairly and equitably.
  • Comprehensive data collection and analysis are central to our mission. It is critical to ensuring long-term reform, detecting disparate treatment and eliminating inequity in the system.
  • The initiative cannot succeed without the active engagement and full participation of families and communities as stakeholders. Ownership and consensus of all stakeholders is key to making system reform work, fostering positive change in juvenile behavior and enhancing opportunities for juveniles to thrive in the community.
  • Shared accountability among JDAI stakeholder partners is essential to accomplishing our common goal of achieving a juvenile justice system that is fair and equitable while attending to public safety and positive youth development. Stakeholders will engage in shared accountability. They will measure and share their outcomes with other stakeholders and the community as it relates to the principles, purpose and vision.