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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Douglas County Young Adult Court is a judicially supervised Problem Solving Court that provides a sentencing alternative for youthful offenders age 18-24 who are charged with a felony to participate in a program of selective assessment, rehabilitative services administered by multidisciplinary agencies, and swift sanctioning by the Court. Judge Shelly R. Stratman presides over the program.

In addition to Judge Stratman, the Young Adult Court is staffed by Problem Solving Court Coordinator Nick Lurz, Problem Solving Court Officer Keirna Ostwald, Douglas County Attorney Katie Benson, Douglas County Public Defender’s Office, and Douglas County Corrections Reentry Assistance Program staff.

ELIGIBILITY/SCREENING

Potential candidates for YAC are identified by their defense attorney who requests the County Attorney to review the case for possible screening by the YAC Team. If the County Attorney believes that the individual is a potential candidate, the defense attorney is notified and is asked to have the offender contact the YAC Coordinator to schedule an interview. A Level of Service, Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) interview is conducted. A suitability report is then submitted to the County Attorney for approval. If a screened individual is not approved for the program, they will continue with the traditional court process.

PROGRAM OUTLINE

If the potential candidate is approved for YAC, the first requirement for entrance into the program is that the offender must appear before Judge Stratman and enter a plea of guilty to their felony charge(s). Judge Stratman then places the offender in the three-phase program that includes but is not limited to the following key components:

Phase I - STABILIZATION – (up to 9 months) An initial case plan will be developed by the YAC Team. There are several starting points for participants based upon their risk level as determined by the LS/CMI. Initial case plans may begin with involvement at the Reentry Assistance Program through Douglas County Corrections, House Arrest through Douglas County Corrections, or intense community supervision. The Reentry Assistance Program will include classes and programming such as Reactive Behavior, Job Readiness, and Reasoning and Rehabilitation. Additional programming may be utilized at the Nebraska State Probation Reporting Centers to include Clinician lead groups, Life Skills Groups, and Educational Groups. Chemical dependency evaluations, mental health screenings, and counseling can also begin in this phase. Participants will begin to attend 12 step or community support meetings if recommended. Those needing a GED may start this process in Phase I.

Phase II – COMMUNITY TRANSITION – (up to 9 months) Participation in 12 step meetings or other community support meetings, attend MRT group, further their education, become employed, and may seek transitional living such as ¾ or ½ way houses. Participants will continue to attend Reporting Center programming as determined through LS/CMI and continued case planning. Victim-offender mediation is an important piece of this phase through a partnership with the District Court Conciliation and Mediation Services.

Phase III - MAINTENANCE – (up to 12 months) Participants will continue to attend 12 step or community support meetings, continue to plan or further their education, and create a plan for independent living. For participants who successfully complete all three phases, felony charges will be dismissed and a Graduation Ceremony is held where the individual is awarded a certificate of completion and an order dismissing the charges by Judge Stratman.
 

PROGRAM TERMINATION

If a participant is accepted into Young Adult Court and is unsuccessful in the program, sanctions will be imposed up to termination or withdrawal from the program. If a participant partially completes the program this can potentially result in a withdrawal of felony charges that are then reduced to a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

CONTACT US

The Young Adult Court Office is located in the State of Nebraska–Probation Reporting Center at 1821 North 73rd Street, Omaha, NE 68114. The Office hours for this building are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Nick Lurz Problem Solving Court Coordinator
402.444.4210
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