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Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Conference

The Annie E. Casey Foundation held its largest juvenile justice gathering to date in April 2017 when it hosted more than 900 policymakers and practitioners in Orlando, Florida, for the 23rd Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Inter-Site Conference.

School & Main Institute in partnership with Wheelock College’s Willie Rodriguez presented on the unique “Reimagining Juvenile Justice” pilot training we have developed for the Annie e Casey Foundation.  This workforce development model for professional in the field,  utilizes a “positive youth development mindset, with a cross systems approach”.  In addition to our presentation Willie Rodriguez received the Annie E. Casey Foundation's prestigious Natalie S. Bimel Award for his efforts to build a just and equitable youth justice system. The Natalie S. Bimel Award is one of four that the Casey Foundation bestowed in 2017 to results-driven and strategic reformers whose steadfast dedication to detention reform has improved the lives of youth. 

The three-day conference presented more than 40 workshops covering a range of juvenile justice topics. The conference was meant to inspire attendees to more fully and faithfully implement juvenile justice reform strategies, expand the reform toolbox and be intentional about sustaining the reforms and the collaborative, data-driven approach that has been at the heart of JDAI’s success.


In a Nutshell

Founded in 1985 at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management, School & Main Institute (SMI) has grown into a nationally recognized, independent non-profit training and partnership development organization that has worked with organizations and state agencies in more than 35 states.


School & Main Institute staff and faculty have years of expertise as organizational leaders, program developers, trainers, and facilitators in the fields of education, workforce preparation, youth and community development.

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