GENEVA — A treatment site here that employs more than 100 people would close under a proposal to overhaul the state's juvenile justice system introduced last week in the Nebraska Legislature.
LB561, introduced Jan. 23 by state Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, states that services available for treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles in the juvenile justice system and delivery of such services are insufficient. The bill calls for creation of an Office of Juvenile Assistance to change the juvenile justice system and address those issues.
The bill calls for the dissolution of the Office of Juvenile Services and permanent closure of Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers in Geneva and Kearney by Jan. 1, 2015.
The Geneva center, located on the northwest edge of town, has a capacity of 82 students and employs the equivalent of about 100 full-time workers. The center's annual budget is $7.36 million.
"It's one of our bigger employers and probably one of our bigger payrolls in town, so when you have that type of facility in your town in a town of 2,200 people, especially, it's a big player in the community," Geneva City Administrator Kyle Svec said. "It would be terrible to see something like that go away."