The Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers in Geneva and Kearney have their place in the juvenile justice system and don't appear to be closing.
That was the thought of state Sen. Les Seiler of Hastings the day after a three-plus-hour judiciary committee hearing Thursday afternoon for LB561, which would close the two YRTC sites. Seiler is a member of the judiciary committee.
Seiler said Friday that attendance at the hearing was so great an overflow room simulcasting the discussion was mostly full, too.
There have been just a couple other judiciary committee hearings with such strong attendance this year. There were a couple reasons LB561 saw such interest.
"The fact that the hearing set out to actually close two facilities and I think the testimony warranted it not be closed," Seiler said as one of the reasons. "It was pretty clear that they have their purposes."
The bill, which Omaha state Sen. Brad Ashford introduced on Jan. 23, states that services available for treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles in the juvenile justice system and delivery of such services are insufficient. The creation of the Office of Juvenile Assistance as provided by the legislative bill would change the juvenile justice system and address those issues.