Youth center reforms passed

A bill to codify guidelines for youth rehabilitation and treatment centers in Nebraska passed final reading July 31.

Sen. Sara Howard
Sen. Sara Howard

LB1140, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, outlines a series of requirements for the state’s YRTCs, including the provision of:
• health care and medical services;
• a safe and sanitary space for sleeping, hygiene, education, programming, treatment, recreation and visitation for each juvenile;
• appropriate physical separation and segregation of juveniles based on gender;
• training that is specific to the population being served;
• sufficient staffing to comply with state and federal law and protect the safety and security of each juvenile;
• an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate education program for each juvenile;
• a case management and coordination process, designed to assure appropriate reintegration of the juvenile to his or her family, school and community; and
• research-based or evidence-based programming and treatment services.

The bill also prevents the state Department of Health and Human Services from establishing or moving a YRTC until March 30, 2021.

The bill passed on a 48-0 vote and takes effect immediately.

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