Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
The Creighton University School of Law Juvenile Justice Legal Clinic will serve a twofold role in this program: to zealously guard its clients’ due process rights and to pursue every avenue available to pave their paths toward rehabilitation and healthy adulthood in a holistic manner. Through this initiative, Creighton will expand beyond juvenile defense representation and related services by opening a new legal center in North Omaha where families can access holistic legal services well before court involvement. It will bolster its staff with a full-time social worker and legal practitioner, along with a part-time restorative justice coordinator who will work outside of the courts to find community-based solutions for youth and families rather than juvenile court involvement. By housing these services under one roof, embedded in the community, this upstream intervention will work to prevent costly and traumatic justice system involvement through restorative processes and accountability. Further, by bolstering this community work with the enhanced behavioral health services already in place at the youth detention center, Douglas County would offer youth and families a holistic, preventative legal and social resource to both curb and repair harm.