Local Agencies Cooperate for Possible Juvenile Detention Alternatives

Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn
Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn

A team of agencies in Pulaski County has decided to join forces to promote JDAI initiatives, and that could mean big changes for the way criminal youth offenders receive rehabilitation.

Judge Michael Shurn appeared before the Pulaski County Commissioners this week to explain the program. He says the Pulaski County Circuit Court, law enforcement, area agencies, and mental health providers have been in discussions through a steering committee. The goal is to consider enrollment in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Shurn says the collaboration started following a youth symposium in Indianapolis.

“The point of that conference was to get everybody thinking on a local level how we can get all these agencies to coordinate and do things together instead of everyone sitting out there on their own bailiwick in regard to youth,” says Shurn.

To do this, the steering committee – calling itself Pulaski County Connect – has decided to apply for grant funds provided through the state for $50-thousand. It’s guaranteed funding for two years.

The group attended additional conferences to better understand the program and learn more about the application process.

Judge Shurn says JDAI has broad support across the state of Indiana, even in the courts.

“They have created this organization in Indiana and the Indiana Supreme Court has bought into this wholesale and supports the concept of JDAI,” says Shurn.

The Pulaski County Auditor would be in charge of managing the funds.

The County Commissioners on Monday night voted in favor of showing their support for the initiative.