March 18, 2014 

Welcome to the first edition of the Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association (NJJA) newsletter. NJJA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving services to youth in the juvenile justice system by fostering collaboration, leadership, and education among juvenile justice system professionals.  

 

Many stakeholders statewide are familiar with our annual NJJA conference. This conference has grown over the years and now provides education to over 300 juvenile justice system professionals annually. For many years, providing a quality conference has been the focus of the organization, but it is time to expand what we offer to the field.  

 

Nebraska is experiencing significant juvenile justice reform. To ensure we are meeting the mission of our organization, we plan to increase the leadership and education we provide by collaborating with you!  If you would like to hear more from us, here is how you can get involved:     

  • Sign up to receive this newsletter through our website:  www.njja.org.
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  • Let us know if you have trainings or events you would like us to share.
  • Help us recognize the work being done in the field by nominating deserving people for our annual awards.
  • Volunteer to write an article about promising work and/or success stories for our next newsletter.
  • Plan to attend the conference May 7-9, 2014, in Kearney, Nebraska.

As NJJA continues to grow in its mission, we look forward to working with you to continue to help the young people in our system achieve positive outcomes. Thank you for all of the hard work you do each day!

 

Sincerely, 

Mike Renn, NJJA President 

Feature Articles
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NJJA Speaks with 
Dr. Anne Hobbs, 
JJI Director

By Monica Miles-Steffens 

NJJA Executive Director

 

Evidence-based programs and practices have become the norm in regard to expectations by funders, legislators, and system stakeholders. But finding and implementing such practices can be far more difficult, yet a recent article published in the OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice shows that a program close to home here in Nebraska has promise.

 

recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Anne Hobbs, Director of the Juvenile Justice Institute (JJI) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, to learn more about the research she and her colleagues had done in Lancaster County. Recently JJI has been doing work on some of the tough issues related to juvenile justice in Nebraska including truancy, detention alternatives, and reentry.

 

Continue reading...

Nebraska Juvenile Justice Reform Update

 

By Jim Bennett 

Reentry Program Specialist, Office of Probation Administration

 

Juvenile justice reform is well underway in the State of Nebraska with the passage of Legislative Bill 561 introduced by Sen. Brad Ashford (I-Omaha) in May 2013. LB 561 moved all supervision of delinquent juveniles from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Juvenile Services (OJS) to Nebraska's Office of Probation Administration. Along with that move came $14.5 million to be spent on new services for youth along with a grant program to aid counties focusing on the developing of front-end services for youth. The changes are intended to decrease the dependency on juvenile detention center stays, place more emphasis on rehabilitation, increase family engagement, and provide more services at the community level. 

 

There are several distinct benchmarks for the implementation of several major components of the bill, starting in July:

 

Continue reading...

LB 464 debate to begin soon, possibly today (March 18)
 
With the Legislative session moving toward its final weeks, legislators are getting ready to debate some of the most important issues for Nebraska's children and youth.

As early as today (March 18), senators may begin debate on the next step in Nebraska's juvenile justice reform effort, LB 464 and its amendments. 
 
Your voice is needed to make sure that our juvenile justice system holds youth accountable for their actions in a way that puts them on the path to a successful future. 
 
LB 464, AM 2163 and AM 2164 strengthen Nebraska's juvenile justice system in a number of ways: 
 
  1. It makes sure our state is treating kids like kids instead of adults when they break the law, by ensuring most youth have access to services available in juvenile justice system instead of immediately facing prosecution as adult; 
  2. It provides clarity and additional funding to enhance legislation from last year that keeps youth in the juvenile justice system close to home and out of detention and incarceration; and 
  3. It puts an emphasis on schools, families, and children addressing absenteeism and truancy before any referral for court involvement is made. 
 
Please take a moment to contact your Senator today and ask them to support LB 464, AM 2163 & AM 2164.
 

NJJA Announcements
2014 NJJA Conference
 
Registration is now open for the 2014 NJJA Conference in Kearney on May 7-9. You don't want to miss what we have planned for you this year!  Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local and national leaders on the latest juvenile justice issues.  Click here to see the full conference brochure and here to register now!
Awards
NJJA is seeking nominations for this year's awards. If you know excellent contributors to the JJ community, help them be recognized for their exemplary service. Application deadline is April 4, 2014. Find details and submission forms on our website
In This Issue
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Nebraska Probation Administration
OJJDP

2014 NJJA Conference
Join us for this year's conference in Kearney, 
May 7-9. 
 
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Gold Sponsor
Thanks to Community Based Services, LLC, this year's conference gold sponsor. 
 
 
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