Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI): Pierce County Juvenile Court’s Diversion Program
In the summer of 2016, Second Cycle started working with Pierce County Juvenile Court’s Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI). JDAI is an alternative for juvenile offenders who pose no observable threat to society. The program allows youth to stay out of detention facilities and instead participate in programs provided by community partners, educators, community service organizations, or therapists. Youth meet with a community accountability board (CAB) and get an action plan together. The goal of the program is to increase protective factors (youth resilience, constructive use of time, and commitment to learning) to reduce and connect youth to pro-social community resources. The participants choose to be involved; that’s their first step toward developing agency and self reliance, and if they successfully complete the program, their offense will not go on their record.
Second Cycle’s involvement in JDAI includes fulfilling participation, engagement, community service, and education requirements for the youths’ plans. Participants go through a four-week session, meeting once a week. Each day, we do a learning session covering things like mechanical leverage concepts, how to fix a flat, and how to safely navigate city streets. Youth also perform other capacity-building tasks involving our shop operations: sorting parts, sweeping floors, and stripping bikes for parts.
This program increases the capacity of at-risk youth and gives us the opportunity to introduce a diverse and sometimes marginalized population into the cycling world of active transportation and recreation, giving youth access to a positive, safe, and healthy community.