NE Juvenile Justice Bill Gets Initial Approval

Posted 2 years ago

By Scott Carlson

senator-brad-ashfordLawmakers have given first-round approval to a bill that’s intended to reduce the number of incarcerated juveniles in Nebraska and shift the state’s focus to treatment.

The bill cleared its initial vote on Thursday, 39-0.

Sen. Brad Ashford introduced the measure as part of a broader overhaul of the state’s juvenile-justice system. The proposal would require that criminal charges against minors would first be filed in juvenile court. Prosecutors could then seek to transfer a case to adult court by filing a motion, and a hearing would be held in juvenile court.

A recent study by the Juvenile Justice Institute found that 45 percent of youths charged in Nebraska between 2010 and 2011 were prosecuted as adults. Advocate say the vast majority are charged with misdemeanors.