Why is there a need for a Prevention Work Group?

The prevention work group is focused on preventing entry and re-entry to the juvenile justice system. Preventing involvement in the juvenile justice system has the two-fold benefit of better meeting the needs of youth and family before issues escalate to require system involvement while improving the capacity of the system to better serve those youth who do become system involved.

What is the focus of the Prevention Work Group?

The Prevention Work Group has used a public health approach to review existing data on the various issues that lead youth and families to come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The group has also taken into account that Douglas County is rich in existing programs and resources focused on prevention – the primary need is coordination of and access to these services. Based on these conversations, the group has identified three focus areas in which it will work to strengthen the network of supports and services that prevent system involvement:

  1. Addressing the barriers that prevent youth and families from seeking and accessing needed supports and services
  2. Increasing community and provider knowledge and capacity to identify and serve at-risk youth earlier in their lives with evidence informed programs
  3. Increasing funding for preventative services for youth who are at-risk of justice system involvement

The Goal

The goal of our work group is to prevent youth from entering and re-entering the justice system. To do so, we will act to increase earlier recognition of at-risk youth and families, knowledge of how to best serve youth and their families, and access to needed supports and services.

Meeting Location & Dates

Monthly on the 3rd Wednesday at the Omaha Home for Boys-Wurderman Conference Center, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Work Group Meeting Notes
Interest Survey

Over the coming months, the Prevention Work Group will develop specific action plans and begin implementing activities to make progress in these areas.

Prevention Work Group Members

David Brown

Terra Goodwin

Brandy Gustoff

James Hubbard

Michaela Jackson

* Working group co-chair

Kerry Kernen

Kyle Kinney

Megan Miller

Rachelle Miller

Ronda Newman

*Lakeisha Phelps

Pastor L. D. Richardson

Melissa Schaefer

*Andrea Wright

Melissa Wurth