Lawyers and advocates say juveniles are treated more harshly in court

 Posted By: KLKN Newsroom

 LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Juvenile lawyers and advocates say Nebraska children as young as 10 are treated more harshly in court than adult offenders.

        Lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on a bill by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha that would prohibit restraints on juveniles during court appearances unless deemed necessary for courtroom security.

        Currently all juvenile offenders transferred from detention centers appear in court in restraints. Child advocates say the practice damages children psychologically and affects their courtroom behavior.

        Another measure reviewed by the committee would allow juveniles to choose to continue court-ordered services through age 21. Another would allow juveniles who commit low-level offenses to receive in-home treatment.

        The committee took no action on the bills.