Lancaster County Seal
Lancaster County
Board of Commissioners

1998 Staff Agendas & Minutes

                         STAFF MEETING AGENDA
                 Lancaster County Board Of Commissioners
                 Tuesday, September 15, 1998 - 9:00 a.m.
                     County-City Building - Room #113


                  SYSTEM STUDY - Dennis Banks, Attention Center Director;
                  Jim Hille, Sinclair Hille; Dave Kroeker, Budget & Fiscal

            Lancaster County Board Of Commissioners
                      County-City Building
                       Meeting Room #113
                  Tuesday, September 15, 1998
                         9 a.m.    

     Commissioners Present:   Linda Steinman, Chair
                              Kathy Campbell
                              Bernie Heier
                              Larry Hudkins

     Commissioners Absent:    Steve Svoboda

          Others Present:     Kerry Eagan, Chief Administrative Officer
                              Dave Kroeker, Budget & Fiscal Officer
                              Kit Boesch, Human Services Administrator
                              Diane Staab, Deputy County Attorney
                              Ann Taylor, County Clerk's Office


          SYSTEM STUDY - Dennis Banks, Attention Center
          Director; Jim Hille, Sinclair Hille & Associates Inc.

Dennis Banks, Attention Center Director, noted that the Lancaster
County Comprehensive Juvenile Justice System Study recommended
construction of a 60 bed secure detention/20 bed staff secure
juvenile facility and Assessment Center.  He suggested expanding
those plans to include a day reporting program, thereby providing
a more comprehensive, integrated juvenile system.

Steinman noted that day reporting program options already exist
within the community.

Banks briefly reviewed cost implications and management and efficiency
problems associated with locating the staff secure facility separate
from the secure detention facility.

Campbell questioned whether sufficient funds had been budgeted for
construction of a staff-secure facility or whether a staff-secure
facility and alternative programs could be located in the existing
Attention Center facility. She noted that site selection will impact the
array of core services administered by the County, as programs such as an
Assessment Center and day reporting may need to be located in close
proximity to schools and families.

Kit Boesch, Human Services Administrator, suggested that the existing
Attention Center facility could be used for an Assessment Center and
alternative programs such as day and night reporting.

Eagan suggested the County seek coordination with programs
offered by the Lincoln Public Schools to alternative students.

Heier proposed development of a complete juvenile justice
complex, which would include an arraignment court and on-site
probation officers to better meet the needs of juveniles.

Hille asked whether the Board envisioned the staff-secure
facility operating as an extension of the classification system
or as a separate and distinct population.

Banks remarked that his ability to manage the populations would be enhanced
if he had the authority to move youth from secure detention to staff-secure,
based upon a classification system and an assessment tool.

Boesch noted that Crime Commission financial assistance for construction
and operating costs may be contingent upon location of the staff-secure
facility separate from the secure detention facility.

Hille reviewed the site diagram, noting that if one of the
housing pods were eliminated, reducing the secure detention facility to
60 beds, there will be an insufficient number of beds available to provide
program or behavioral grouping in addition to separation of youth based on
gender, age grouping and severity of offense.

Kroeker suggested that the County build the facility with 80 bed
secure beds, rather than a division of 60 secure and 20 staff-secure beds,
to reduce costs.  He noted that the County could operate a staff-secure
program within one of the 20 bed pods or could contract initially for
operation of a staff-secure facility at a separate site, with the option
to build staff-secure beds on-site at a later date.

Hille noted that, although co-locating the two facilities on one
site would allow sharing of some program and resource spaces,
the two youth populations would need to be kept totally separate.

Boesch suggested that more comparison was needed of the cost of
operation of a staff-secure facility by the County versus that of
a non-profit agency.

Banks stated that secure detention and staff-secure philosophies
are distinctly different and combining the two in one facility
would make management difficult.

In response to a question from Heier, Hille stated that the staff-secure
housing could be built with infrastructure in place to allow conversion to
secure detention to meet changing populations needs.

Brief discussion took place with regards to location of an
Assessment Center and transportation and accessibility issues.

Boesch noted concern that location of the Assessment Center in the
Attention Center facility could make placement in the detention facility
more accessible.  She suggested that locating the Assessment Center
elsewhere in the community could broaden the array of assessments to
include mentally ill and intoxicated juveniles.

Boesch also reported that Region V has targeted grant funds for
development of an Assessment Center.  She stated that juvenile
offender assessments could be included in that program.

Steinman suggested that the Assessment Center could initially consist of
one or more Probation Officers making determination of placement, rather
than an actual building.  She also suggested that a Probation Officer could
be available at both the Attention Center facility and at a separate site
to make assessments.

Hille noted that Juvenile Court Judges would be able to remain in
electronic contact with the Assessment Center, thereby
maintaining their authority with regards to placement decisions.

Hille suggested that a Probation Officer, assigned by the Juvenile Court
to make juvenile assessments, could also make decisions regarding transition
between the staff-secure and secure detention facilities.  On-site location
of the Assessment Center would make it possible for that Probation Officer
to have direct contact with those juveniles.

Campbell suggested that additional input was needed from the
Assessment Center Review Committee.

MOTION: Campbell moved and Hudkins seconded to authorize Jim Hille,
        Architect, and Dennis Banks, Attention Center Director, to proceed
        with development of plans for a 60 bed juvenile secure detention
        facility and staff-secure facility, to be located on the same site,
        with the potential for expansion of 20 additional secure detention

Heier and Hudkins requested that determination of placement of
the Assessment Center be determined at a later date.

ON CALL: Campbell, Hudkins, Heier and Steinman voted aye.
          Motion carried.

The Board indicated that if the proposed Constitutional Amendment passes,
further review of the Attention Center project will be necessary.

The Board requested that Kroeker contact Don Killeen, County Property
Manager, regarding the part-time allotment of hours for Greg Pettibone,
City/County Property Management, to serve as Project Manager.

Hille also provided a brief update on the progress of site selection, noting
the potential for sharing of infrastructure costs with the State of Nebraska
for the Yankee Hill site.

The Board also approved setting of a date for a Tri-County Meeting with
representatives of the Sarpy and Douglas County Boards for November 12th or 19th.

By direction of the Chair, the meeting was adjourned.

Kandra Hahn
Lancaster County Clerk

Past Agendas
1998 Agenda History