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The Douglas County Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) is dedicated to improving the lives of youth by helping to strengthen and support children and families who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Assessment Center believes each youth should be supported based on individual risks and needs.

The Douglas County Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) provides the cornerstone of evidence-based practices for juvenile justice youth service: screening and assessment. The JAC serves as the focal point for comprehensive assessment for youth coming to the attention of the Douglas County Attorney’s Office (DCAO). The JAC provides to the DCAO recommendations for the most efficient and effective interventions and supervision levels for each youth.

The JAC strives to divert all eligible youth from formal processing, while recommending interventions to prevent further law violations, and enhance productive growth of young citizens. The JAC utilizes evidence-based principles such as the risk/need/responsivity principle by making targeted referrals, based on screening and assessment, and referring to service providers in the community utilizing evidence-based principles, as well as monitoring utilization and effectiveness of each of these services.

 

Key Components of Douglas County JAC:

  • Systematic intake and processing
  • Standardized, objective instruments are administered
  • Youth and family input are crucial components of the assessment process
  • Assessment results drive the justice system's response to the youth
  • Emphasis is on matching the youth's needs with support/treatment/supervision, which diminishes the likelihood of re-offense, and provides the youth the opportunity for growth and rehabilitation
  • Philosophy is to intervene as early, effectively and often as possible to disrupt the youth's progress as a law violator, and to promote healthy development
  • Collaboration with Community Service Providers to develop program capacity which gives the justice system a wide selection of options for youth


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