ANDERSON — Madison County will be one of 11 new counties joining the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative in Indiana thanks to additional state funding.
There are currently eight counties that are JDAI locations. An extra $5.5 million in state money will allow the new entries to the program.
Judge G. George Pancol met Thursday with several state leaders, including Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David, to discuss how the program would work in Madison County.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity," Pancol said. "Coming in on the front of this, we can get a little more innovative thanks to the funding."
The JDAI program looks at different ways of doling out punishment to juveniles. Pancol, the county's juvenile judge, said it allows administrators to be a little more flexible.
He said with the program, different punishments can be doled out for different crimes. A press release by the Indiana Court system said the object is to send the right to children to the right place for the right amount of time. The program allows some juvenile offenders to avoid incarceration if a judge allows it.
Pancol said the program, which began in 2006, has worked very well in the original counties, with less recidivism and fewer violent crimes. He said Madison County is eager to get on board.
"The plan is to move forward with this," he said. "We will have additional meetings in the new year."
Madison County will be joined by Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, Delaware, Henry, LaGrange, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh, and Wayne counties in the expanded JDAI program.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.