LaGrange County Circuit Court Judge J. Scott VanDerbeck recently met with leaders of other Indiana counties to discuss the Indiana Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). JDAI is a public safety and reform strategy to review how youth are treated in the juvenile justice system. Lead state agencies include the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, and Indiana Department of Correction. The goal of JDAI is to ensure public safety, implement the best ways locally available to serve families, the public, and install steps to reduce reliance on unnecessary out-of-home detention for low risk youth.
Judge VanDerbeck represented a newly formed LaGrange County committee interested in studying the JDAI principles that relate to the detention of juveniles. Members of the county committee include Sheriff Terry Martin, Councilman Peter Cook, Chief Probation Officer LeAnn Anders, Northeastern Center Counselor Ron Chupp, LaGrange Town Marshal Rich Snyder, and Lakeland Resource Officer Carlos Olivares.
The LaGrange JDAI Committee has applied to be an approved JDAI site. If accepted, they will join 22 other Indiana counties in the review of this subject. These counties represent 58 percent of Indiana’s population age 10-17. The committee will conduct a statistical self-evaluation to consider the procedures of cases involving the arrest, detention and release of juveniles who have cases before a court.
In 2012, there were 18 juveniles from LaGrange County placed in detention for a total of 207 days, at a total cost of $25,708