County signs on to 6-county juvenile program

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

McCOOK, Neb. — Red Willow County will participate in a 6-county interlocal agreement to address mental health, truancy and legal issues for juveniles in Southwest Nebraska.

Red Willow County commissioner Earl McNutt said Tuesday morning that Red Willow County will still operate its own in-house juvenile diversion program through the county attorney’s office, but will now also have access to mental health counseling and truancy assistance through the new six-county cooperation.

Chase County will be the lead county and its deputy county attorney, Rory Roundtree, will coordinate the new program, McNutt said.

The other counties involved are Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock and Furnas.

Earlier this year, Red Willow County declined to be the lead county in a similar multi-county effort, and decided to run its own juvenile diversion program through county attorney Paul Wood’s office.

McNutt said he likes the counseling and truancy pieces that will now be available to Red Willow County juveniles. He appreciates Chase County taking the lead, and the opportunity to be “good neighbors” with other Southwest Nebraska counties in all of their efforts to address challenges for juveniles.

The coalition will be funded with grants from the Nebraska Crime Commission: In 2018-19, $63,054, with a match of $7,006, for a total of $70,060; and in 2019-2020, $76,214, with a match of $8,468, for a total of $84,682.

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