Vegas Lost: Nevada bills, local impact

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Nevada officials are wondering how the newly elected legislature will affect the state's future. (KSNV)

Is Nevada in a good position to meet those guidelines or is a lot of work to do?

We ask Patricia Farely about the new Federal requirements for Juvenile Justice. Her response and her assessment of Nevada’s current system is blunt.

“It’s a lot of work to do", she says from her home office. “You look at child welfare and the juvenile justice system and it's been ignored. Both from funding and technology and communication. It’s not interconnected. We’re funding different pieces and trying to make it sustainable. I hope they step back and say ok we have to get together and streamline this and make it work, including the leaders of these departments and programs.”

The former State Senator recently sat on the Legislative Committee on Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice.

A committee that has introduced six bills to the legislature, that introduce sweeping and potentially expensive changes to the state system. Beginning with a statewide audit.

“Right now we don’t understand where our money is going and the benefit of it. Which is why we need that audit, that full audit through the entire state.”

The bills Farely and the other democrats and republicans who sat with her authored do a number of things; beginning with an audit of the justice system.

Right now the County, The state's Correctional Department, and the Department of Child and Family Services all handle youth justice. They all have separate budgets and there is no computer system linking them together.

It’s hard to know what, if anything, is working.

They also want to build new detention centers to house young offenders separate from adult inmates and closer to their families.

On the horizon, new federal regulations under the JJDPA. If it can’t meet those, the state loses federal money.