Changes made at Kearney’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center reduce escapes

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP)  Nebraska officials say there are changes underway to improve security at Kearney’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center.

At a meeting Saturday, administrator Mark LaBouchardiere listed more than 10 changes that have been made since April, including giving families gas vouchers to visit, increasing the monthly allotment of phone calls home from two to four and using Skype for phone calls.

Reports say that the center has seen a drop in the number of escapes since April, when 10 left the facility. In May, there were five escapes, and in June and July, one each.

LaBouchardiere says most escapes occur when teens are away from the facility with family or on furlough.

Next week, teens at the facility will begin wearing the same green T-shirt. Officials are also considering putting a fence around the facility.