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Ink Free News on 01/18/2023 by By Caleigh Byrer
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — The Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative is entering their fifth year serving juveniles in Kosciusko County with numerous programs they plan to implement pending grant approval for 2023-2024.
JDAI receives roughly $70,000 per fiscal year to use toward the safety and well-being of local juveniles through programs and detention alternatives. Their ultimate goal is to maintain the balance of public safety and the best interest of juveniles in participating counties.
Some of the programs they plan to continue or implement this year are a trauma response program for educators and youth, incentivized probation and the policing the teen brain program:
The trauma program will supply youth and teachers with tools to manage the mental and behavioral effects of trauma in the classroom. Funding will be used to supply 1000 pamphlets and 30 posters containing de-escalation strategies, calming/regulation techniques and a box breathing technique.
The probation incentives program is intended to reinforce positive behavior by giving juveniles items such as a gift card, candy, snack pack, cell phone charger, water bottle or a fidget toy when they are progressing and meeting goals.
The policing the teen brain program is intended to educate police officers and community members in adolescent brain development and improve approaches with the youth. Funding will be used for contractual services of a psychologist or another qualified PhD to teach two training sessions, books and meals or snacks for training sessions.
As JDAI was formed to help mitigate the impact of detention on youth, their programs are intended to give a juvenile the chance to learn rather than be subjected to a potentially harmful environment.