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Voices for Children Statement on LB 482 Passage


Omaha – Following the passage on final reading of LB 482, Voices for Children Executive Director Carolyn Rooker released the following statement:

“We want to thank the legislature for taking a major step towards juvenile justice reform in the passing of LB 482. By ending the indiscriminate shackling of youth in court and changing how we deal with status offenses, the legislature is helping create better outcomes for children, communities, and taxpayers.

The reforms found in LB 482 conform with the overwhelming amount of data that shows the best response to status offenses is out of court, where treatment can be immediate, therapeutic, and tailored to each individual child and family. Beyond the benefits for youth, avoiding costly detention will create savings for Nebraska taxpayers.

Additional changes that curtail youth shackling recognize that only 1.7 percent of juvenile arrests are for violent crimes, and that bringing children to court in chains is a humiliating practice that harms the child and increases the chance of future crime. We are pleased with the decision by the legislature to move on from this antiquated practice.”

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