In November 2020, LB 230, a bill to ban the use of room confinement of juveniles in all but the rarest of circumstances went into effect in Nebraska. The ACLU of Nebraska presented a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program in December 2020 about the new law.
Additionally, we have developed a sample motion for juvenile defenders to use to challenge potentially unlawful placement of their clients in room confinement. The motion includes claims based on Nebraska Statute 83-4,134.02 (the codification of LB 230), as well as the 14th Amendment and the 8th Amendment.
Please reach out to Scout Richters, Legal & Policy Counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The new law (click here for its full text):
- Requires that any room confinement for longer than 1 hour during a 24 hour period be documented and approved by a supervisor.
- Confinement cannot be used as punishment, as a response to a staffing shortage, or in retaliation against the young person.
- Only used when less-restrictive alternative have been exhausted and juvenile poses immediate and substantial risk of harm to self or others.
- Only held until the immediate and substantial risk is resolved.
- Within one day of placement, facility must notify parents or guardians and juvenile’s attorney.
- Requires certain minimum standards for rooms used for room confinement.
- Requires that youth in confinement have equal access to meals, family, contact, legal assistance, and educational programming.
- Requires that youth in room confinement have access to mental health care and medical care.
- Requires that those in confinement be continuously monitored.