Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2015

Contact Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or
(cell) 402-450-7318, or russ.reno@nebraska.gov

YRTC-Geneva Accredited by
American Correctional Association

Lincoln—The Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva received its most successful audit ever from the American Correctional Association (ACA) and again was granted a three-year accreditation, said Tony Green, acting director of Children and Family Services at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Green attributed the higher ranking to the extra effort of employees who were committed to resolve five standards identified in a 2011 ACA audit as needing attention.

Dan Scarborough, facility administrator, said the work of a committee has been “on-going and persistent” the last three years. They met regularly to review action plans to correct the five issues, conducted file audits, ensured data was collected, regularly toured the campus to check on compliance and worked with ACA when deficiencies were found.

“Our process in addressing the needs spelled out in ACA audits makes this a safer place for youth and staff, which enables treatment to be more successful for youth,” he said. “The auditors were highly impressed that we had corrected all five failed standards and acknowledged the amount of work it took to complete them.”

Joanie Shoemaker, deputy director of prisons in Colorado, praised the YRTC-G for correcting all the deficiencies mentioned in the 2011 audit, as well as its commitment to compliance, which represents best practices.

Scarborough said the auditors also were impressed with their youth programs that are geared to young women and responsive to gender differences with young men in a similar setting. They praised the facility for using an individualized program versus group-based programs.

In particular, they expressed interest in the YRTC-G’s Mothers and Babies Program, which allows teen mothers to have overnight stays on campus with their child. The experience provides opportunities to teach positive parenting skills and prepares the mothers for reunification. He said the program is rare across the nation, and the auditors requested a presentation on the program.

The 2014 audit found that the YRTC-G was 100 percent compliant on 38 mandatory requirements and 99.69 percent compliant on 333 non-mandatory measurements. The ACA auditors pointed to one standard needing additional attention, which was the necessity for more perimeter control. Staff developed an action plan that also was approved by ACA.

The medical and mental health services, recreation and education programs, and facility maintenance were also complimented by the auditors who said the YRTC-G is very attractive, well-kept and impressive. They also commended staff for its professionalism, program knowledge and communication, and found them to be competent, friendly and committed to the philosophy of the program.

The ACA auditors visited the YRTC-G last fall for three days and toured the grounds and visited with youth and staff about their impressions.

The YRTC-G received its first accreditation from ACA in 1981 and except for 1984, when it was decided not to participate, it received accreditation every time after that, Scarborough said.

 
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