Department of Health and Human Services to begin shift of juvenile offenders to Lincoln | Nebraska Legislature

Whether in Geneva, or elsewhere, adequate staffing remains a concern. 

The skills of the people working at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center and the substance abuse program are vastly different, Halloran said. The people who work with the boys in the substance abuse program work closely with them and create a strong bond, he said. Most are rooted in Hastings and will not move to Lincoln or do a long commute when the program moves.

“The Department of Health and Human Services will lose very talented professionals from their ranks at a time when the department is desperately looking to hire such people,” Halloran said. 

Stutte told Halloran he toured the building in Hastings used for the substance abuse program and was told that to bring it up to standards as a Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, the walls would have to be reinforced, windows upgraded and a fence would likely be needed. 

Where would those funds come from? Halloran asked. 

Howard emphasized the need for planning before more youth programs are disrupted and more taxpayer money is spent. 

And moving the boys in the substance abuse program to share a campus with boys being treated for sex offenses raises critical questions, she said. 

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