Heinemann Signs Juvenile Justice Bill into Law

LINCOLN (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has signed a juvenile justice reform bill into law. The measure by Sen. Brad Ashford, of Omaha, is designed to shift the state's focus toward rehabilitation for youths who break the law. Heineman approved the legislation on Wednesday during a news conference. The multi-faceted bill would transfer the supervision of juvenile offenders to state's Office of Probation Administration, under the Nebraska Supreme Court. Juvenile offenders are currently overseen by the state Department of Health and Human Services. Heineman says the law will allow the department to focus more on children who have suffered abuse and neglect. It also provides $14.5 million for juvenile services. Ashford says the law seeks to helps youths in their mid- to late-teens, before their crimes escalate.