Sunday, July 25, 2021


More than 10,000 NY and NJ airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations; and Dr. Jill Biden is in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.


Drama builds over who will serve on the House January 6th panel; Senate tries to hold tech accountable for COVID misinformation; and VP Harris promotes a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Groups Challenge $2 Million Youth Detention Fence


Tuesday, September 4, 2018   

KEARNEY, Neb. – Momentum is building to install a $2 million fence around a youth detention center in Kearney, but children's advocates are pushing back.

Juliet Summers, policy coordinator with Voices for Children in Nebraska, says the state has made a commitment to give young people every opportunity to choose a different path, and warns that a barbed wire fence would go against the center's mission, which is treatment, not punishment or lockdown as in adult prisons.

She says decades of research shows that when youths are put into spaces that look like prisons, it backfires.

"Recidivism rates go up, they're less likely to pursue and achieve higher education and employment because the facility setting itself, the incarcerated space has identified for them that that's what they are, they're a criminal," she states.

The Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney is the placement of last resort for young male offenders, where they get one more chance after other services and group homes have not worked.

Public meetings were called after youths being held there left campus without clearance, including one incident of a stolen car.

Many community members believe a fence around the center will improve public safety.

Summers notes that after the center adopted new evidence-based programming, the number of runaways from campus has dropped sharply.

After experiencing 36 escapes in 2016, only 17 were reported in 2017, and Summers says the center is on course to cut runaways by half again this year.

"So, we're talking about a $2 million fence to prevent eight young men from leaving campus,” she points out. “And they're already on track to eliminate this issue without even having the fence at all. It just makes no sense."

Summers says there are better ways to spend that kind of money.

Last year after Nebraska's inspector general for child welfare found that 26 children had died under state care, a bill was introduced in the state Legislature to prevent future tragedies. Summers says the measure died, primarily because of its price tag of $1 million.

get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)


SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …

Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …


CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …

According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …


BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…


CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021