County Commissioners Discuss Juvenile Justice

MADISON - The Madison County Commissioners recently discussed reform in the juvenile justice system and work in Northeast Nebraska to comply with a new state law on the subject.  At Tuesday's meeting, Commission Chairman Lee Klein said several counties are working together to meet the requirements of the new law.  Klein says the goal of LB561 is to incarcerate fewer juveniles for non-violent offenes and to cut expenses.  But, he says adequate funding was not provided for the program and many counties are seeking grant funds to pay the associated costs.  Madison County Attorney Joe Smith provided information to the Commissioners on his office's work with at-risk juveniles.  The Madison County Attorney operates a juvenile accountability program to compliment the efforts of law enforcement, diversion and the probation office.  Smith says that program is spreading to other counties and continues to be entirely grant-funded.