The Nebraska Judiciary Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would close the YRTC facilities located in Kearney and Geneva by Jan. 1, 2015.
The bill would create the Office of Juvenile Assistance, which would provide community–based services to treat and rehabilitate juveniles — as opposed to detaining them.
Supporters of the bill say 70 percent of YRTC offenders are considered low–risk, and should not be housed with high–risk offenders.
Opponents say community–based treatment can be ineffective, and the YRTC provides necessary treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
The committee took no immediate action on the bill.