Why is there a need for a Schools Work Group?

Schools and their community partners can play an important role in preventing youth from entering the juvenile justice system, and in helping them achieve long-term success after system involvement. Today, schools can serve as an entry point for many youth into juvenile justice, either through truancy violations or school-based arrests. Schools, system actors, and community partners can work together to ensure success of Douglas County’s youth.

What is the focus of the Schools Work Group?

The schools work group has identified three focus areas at the intersection of schools and the juvenile justice system:

  1. Reducing the need for school-based arrests: Arrests while at school directly channel youth into the system and are a symptom of the broader school to prison pipeline.
  2. Improving outcomes related to school re-entry (following an extended absence due to justice system involvement): System-involved youth often face challenges readjusting to the school environment or academic demands (which may have also been a struggle prior to system involvement).

While not a priority at this time, the schools work group also identified school climate as a driver of student engagement that affects juvenile justice outcomes.

Meeting Location & Dates

School-Based Arrest Task Force

  • Monthly on the 4th Tuesday at the UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

School Re-Entry Task Force

  • Monthly on the 4th Thursday at the Westside ABC Building, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

School-Based Arrest Task Force Members

A’Jamal Byndon

Vince Furlong *

* Working group co-chair

Shannan Garcia

James Hubbard

Donnie Morrison

Lt. Charles Ott

Jonathan Santo, PhD

Gacobie Vasser

School Re-Entry Task Force Members

Jennifer Beck *

Abby Bjornsen

Jenny Brockman

Derek Brown *

* Working group co-chair

Dave Collins

Shannan Garcia

Hansel Gonzalez

Judith Gutierrez

Katie Hecht-Weber

Dawnna Hill

Kylie Homan

James Hubbard

Steve Snodgrass