Limitations on juvenile confinement approved

The Legislature passed a bill Feb. 6 that restricts the use of room confinement for juveniles.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist28' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks'>Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks</a>
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks

LB230, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, prohibits correctional facilities from placing juveniles in room confinement as a result of disciplinary sanctions, staff shortages or retaliation by staff members.

The bill specifies that room confinement only can be used after all other less-restrictive alternatives have been exhausted and the juvenile poses a serious and immediate security threat to themselves or others. The length of confinement will be restricted to the minimum amount of time needed to resolve any such threat while not harming the mental or physical health of the juvenile.

Confined individuals can continue to have regular access to medical and mental health treatment, meals, contact with parents and legal guardians, legal assistance and educational programming. Monitoring of confined individuals may be accomplished through regular in-person visits, supplemented by electronic video monitoring.

Notice to an offender’s parents or guardians and attorney of his or her placement in room confinement will be required within one business day.

LB230 passed on a 44-0 vote.

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