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Graduated Sanctions Program

Graduated Sanctions or detention alternatives allow juveniles who would otherwise be detained to be provided the opportunity to remain in the community with structured supervision. This allows the youth to remain integrated in their home, attend school, be employed and attend counseling. Programs are available for youth ages 13 to 18. Youth are referred to the program through the Probation Office and Juvenile Court. Once the referral is made, youth usually begin the program the following day. Youth may be involved in more than one program at a time.

Graduated Sanctions were originally started around 2000 to decrease overcrowding at the Youth Services Center. The main objectives were to reduce the number of youth detained; reduce the average length of stay of youth in detention and increase services and placements within the Lancaster Area. We are in the process of outlining methods to enhance our evaluation process; however, we have witnessed a decrease in detention stays and an increase in referrals to these programs. You could conclude these programs are achieving the objectives they were designed to target. What we do know about the kids utilizing these programs are:

  • For FY 2000-2001, the average age of youth referred to graduated sanctions was 16.2 years of age
  • 27% were female
  • 33% were minority youth
  • The average age that most of the youth committed their first offense was 12 years
  • Half of the youth enrolled in these programs have a history of abuse and neglect
  • 60% of youth enrolled in the expediter program have not committed an additional offense since being discharged from the program

These programs served over 295 kids in 2008. The County invested $166,560 that year in these programs. A majority of the program's budget is funded through Crime Commission Grants. When figuring the cost of having a youth in secure detention for an average of 22 days is slightly over $5,000, allowing kids that would otherwise be in detention to be involved in this programming for up to 30-45 days at $1,500 per youth really is a cost savings to the County and doing the right thing for the kids and their families.

The following is information on each Graduated Sanction Program.

B.E.S.T. Education is a day reporting center that provides supervised school structure for youth to help maintain successful placement in the home and the community. Because this program is accredited through the Nebraska Department of Education, credits earned at BEST are accepted at LPS. Transportation is provided as needed. The program runs for 8:00 - 2:30 Monday through Friday.
(402) 420-2888
11401 South 70th Lincoln, NE 68516

Cedars Day Reporting provides a highly structured day program for youth who are in need of stabilization, transition, reunification back into the community. Individualized program designed to assist youth involved in the juvenile justice system through educational learning, community service work, job readiness training, and enrolment in GED prep course work. This program provides transportation as needed. This program runs from 8:30 - 2:30 Monday through Friday.
(402) 437-8843
6601 Pioneers Blvd. Lincoln, NE 68506

Evening Reporting Center provides structured supervision and skill development opportunities for juveniles. Home work is completed each evening. The program consists of skill acquisition groups, job readiness, social skills, critical thinking, and community service work. An evening meal is provided. This program does provide transportation. The program runs from 3:00 - 8:00 Monday through Friday.
<402) 437-8843
6601 Pioneers Lincoln, NE 68506

The HUB Project H.I.R.E. is designed for youth ages 16-18 that are in need of employment skills. The program provides job readiness training, job searching, and supervised work experience. This program runs from 3:30 - 5:30 Monday through Friday. No transportation is provided, however, if needed, the youth can obtain a "Ride for $7.50" Bus pass at no cost Summer Hours 1:00 - 3:00 Monday through Friday.
(402) 471-8526
1037 S 12th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508

Cedars Weekend Reporting Center provides a highly structured program for youth on Saturdays. The Weekend Reporting Center offers a positive alternative for youth in need of additional supervision on weekends. The program consists of skill acquisition groups, home work groups, job readiness, social skills, critical thinking, and community service work. A noon meal and two snacks will be provided to all-day participants and transportation to and from the center will be provided as needed. The program runs from 10:00 am through 6:00 pm on Saturday.
(402) 437-8843
6601 Pioneers Lincoln, NE 68506

Graduated Sanctions Programs Statistics

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