43-2403. Legislative findings; purposes of act.

The Legislature hereby finds that the incarceration of juveniles in adult jails, lockups, and correctional facilities is contrary to the best interests and well-being of juveniles and frequently inconsistent with state and federal law requiring intervention by the least restrictive method. The Legislature further finds that the lack of available alternatives within local communities is a significant factor in the incarceration of juveniles in such adult jails, lockups, and correctional facilities.

To address such lack of available alternatives to the incarceration of juveniles, the Legislature declares it to be the policy of the State of Nebraska to aid in the establishment of programs or services for juveniles under the jurisdiction of the juvenile or criminal justice system and to finance such programs or services with appropriations from the General Fund and with funds acquired by participation in the federal act. The purposes of the Juvenile Services Act shall be to (1) assist in the provision of appropriate preventive, diversionary, and dispositional alternatives for juveniles, (2) encourage coordination of the elements of the juvenile services system, and (3) provide an opportunity for local involvement in developing community programs for juveniles so that the following objectives may be obtained:

(a) Preservation of the family unit whenever the best interests of the juvenile are served and such preservation does not place the juvenile at imminent risk;

(b) Limitation on intervention to those actions which are necessary and the utilization of the least restrictive yet most effective and appropriate resources;

(c) Encouragement of active family participation in whatever treatment is afforded a juvenile whenever the best interests of the juvenile require it;

(d) Treatment in the community rather than commitment to a youth rehabilitation and treatment center whenever the best interests of the juvenile require it; and

(e) Assistance in the development of alternatives to secure temporary custody for juveniles who do not require secure detention.

Source:Laws 1990, LB 663, § 3; Laws 1992, LB 447, § 7; Laws 1994, LB 988, § 25; Laws 1995, LB 739, § 2; Laws 1997, LB 424, § 1; Laws 2000, LB 1167, § 42; Laws 2001, LB 640, § 4.