Our History






2015 – March

JJAI Develops ATD Model


After examining the problem of excessive juvenile detention, JJAI’s leadership developed it’s “Alternatives to Detention” model – a set of interdependent strategies designed to systematically transform the juvenile justice system and ensure that the justice system is does not further trap children in cycles of crime.

2015 – October

Photography Documentary “Dia de Visita”


JJAI unveiled its first photography documentary and exhibit called “Dia de Visita” at the Mexico City Museum – documenting how families struggle to maintain connection and relationships while their children are in detention awaiting trial in Mexico City.

2016 – January

Chihuahua Pilot Project


JJAI launched the first implementation of the “Alternatives to Detention” project in Chihuahua State along with the collaboration of the State Superior Court of Justice.

2016 – September

Photography Documentary “Every Child Has a Story”


Unveiled in September at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, “Every Child Has a Story” documented the moving reuniting of children in detention with their parents who had not seen each other in months or years.

2017 – March

Mobilize and Empower


Beginning slowly as a project to support children from extreme poverty in detention, the Mobilization and Empowerment project started in Chihuahua in March of 2017.

2018 – May

Global Study on Child Pretrial Detention


The lack of adequate international standards limiting the length of time children can wait in pretrial detention, JJAI, the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and the American University Washington College of Law International Human Rights Law Clinic published the Global Study and presented it before the United Nations Committees on the Rights of the Child and Committee Against Torture.

2018 – November

Guerrero State site


JJAI launched its first replication of the “Alternatives to Detention” project, piloted in Chihuahua state.

2019 – August

Durango State


Durango state officials invited JJAI to replicate our “Alternatives to Detention” project in their state.

2019 – September

Mexico City Site


In September 2019, Mexico City officials invited JJAI to launch our “Alternatives to Detention” project in their jurisdiction.