Nebraska District One Probation gives report to Gage County officials

BEATRICE – The State Probation District One office headquartered in Beatrice reports it served about 1,740 juvenile and adult clients with probation services the past year in southeast Nebraska.

"We work hand-in-hand with three district judges, six county and juvenile court judges..we also work with Region Five for behavioral health services to look at different service options we can utilize...we work with multiple DHHS jurisdictions and we work closely with law enforcement, treatment providers, educators and attorneys, as well."

In a summary given to the Gage County Board on Wednesday, District One Chief Probation Officer Ashley Griess said the number served in Gage County was 487.
District One includes ten southeast Nebraska Counties, and includes two drug courts, based in Wilber and Auburn. It has 44 staff members.

"We have two reporting centers. One is here in Beatrice and then we have one in Nebraska City. What our reporting centers are there for is to contract with outside agencies to come and provide free programming for our clients. It is also open to the community....first come, first served. We designate that to probation population and problem solving court....but if they do not fill up, they are open to the community, so anyone could come in and be a part of those programs."

Griess said of adults on probation, about 85% were not involved in additional criminal violations within three years of being released successfully from probation, while the rate was 88% for juveniles in the past year.

Chris Reece with the District One Drug Court in Wilber said the five-phase program takes at least 18 months for persons accepted into the program to complete but can take as long as 36 months.

"More than eighty percent of crime is drug or alcohol fueled. So, the premise behind problem solving courts is, if we can get these folks sober and get their sobriety maintained, then it should reduce criminal behavior."

Thirteen persons successfully graduated from the Southeast Nebraska Adult Drug Court last year, with two graduating so far in 2021. Persons admitted to the drug court plead guilty to a felony drug charge and meet certain evidence-based standards and risk factors. As of Wednesday, there were 58 participants in the two drug courts in Wilber and Auburn.