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Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

In Nebraska, juvenile detention and delinquency services are organized at mostly the state level. Detention is primarily administered by local executive entities such as county commissions or boards; some facilities are operated by private or non-profit organizations. 

The Office of Probation Administration, within the State Court Administrator's Office, administers probation services and reentry through probation districts. 

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services, a state executive health and human services agency, administers commitment to state facilities. 

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities. Juvenile reentry services are administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Nebraska's Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers. Restrictive housing and Immediate Segregation are allowed for safety and security reasons. Restrictive housing requires warden approval within 8 hours of placement.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Releases from Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers (YRTC) in Nebraska are the responsibility of the Office of Juvenile Services, by the authority of the Facility Administrator. The facility considers whether the juvenile has a) completed the goals of his or her individual treatment plan b) received maximum benefit from institutional treatment c) the juvenile would benefit from continued services under community supervision d) they can function in a community setting e) there is reason to believe that the juvenile will not commit further violations of law and f) there is reason to believe that the juvenile will comply with the conditions of probation. Within 60 days prior to discharge from the juvenile treatment facility, an evidence-based risk screening and needs assessment is conducted on the juvenile in order to determine the juvenile’s risk of reoffending and the juvenile’s individual needs upon reentering the community. The Office of Juvenile Services provides the committing court written notification of the juvenile’s discharge.

Risk assessment, 2017

Organization 2013 2017
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Nebraska, juvenile probation is administered by the Office of Probation Administration, within the State Court Administrator’s Office. The use of a risk/needs assessment is required by state statute and Nebraska has adopted the Youth Level of Service/ Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) statewide.

Information from the YLS/CMI is used to develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, assign probation supervision level, and develop probation case plans.

Aggregate case level data from the YLS/CMI is used it to support local reliability and validity testing of the instrument.

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI)

Mental health screening, 2014

Does not require a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Other: All youth being placed out of home receive a mental health evaluation to see what type of setting would best fit their needs. If a youth is being placed in a therapeutic setting, Children’s Mental Health requires that the Children Adolescent Needs and Strengths instrument (CANS) be used.

Mental health screening tool used
Screening not required

Nebraska uses a research-based mental health screening practice in juvenile probation and corrections. Funding is provided to support the use of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2) and the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAINS). The MAYSI is frequently used for diversion, although screening is not required. Evaluations can be ordered at the discretion of the juvenile court judge.

Nebraska also uses the Mental Health Screen Form 3 which is built into the probation management information systems. Comprehensive training is provided for screening processes and this tool can be applied to adults and juveniles.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Nebraska Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) supports the use of evidence-based practices by state statute, administrative agency regulations, and a resource center or collaborative. The JJC has collaborated with the University of Nebraska, Juvenile Justice Institute, to develop a statewide system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention programs.

The state’s commitment to evidence-based practices is evident in their three year plan. The state funds specific evidence-based prevention and intervention programs in addition to funding training and technical assistance related to the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices.

Evidence-based programs funded by the state must report implementation or outcome data. The state collects data using the Data Collection and Technical Assistance Tool (DCTAT). This data is publicly available.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.



Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

The Nebraska Division of Children & Family Services Office of Juvenile Services publishes a recidivism rate for youth served by the Geneva and Kearney Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers. No definition of recidivism is provided in the report.

Data sources

Youth Rehabilitation & Treatment Center- Geneva 2014/2015 Annual Report
Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Children & Family Services, Office of Juvenile Services

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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