- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - One Nebraska senator says a measure prioritized by the Nebraska attorney general could undo years of efforts to decriminalize victims of sex trafficking.

A legislative committee heard public testimony Wednesday on the bill that would allow courts to mandate treatment options for juveniles who have been trafficked. Currently courts cannot enforce prescribed treatment, such as mental health services.

Committee member Omaha Sen. Bob Krist worked on earlier legislation that kept victims from being classified as criminals and out of a juvenile justice system that he says is unprepared to address their specific needs. He says he worries even rehabilitative detainment worsens trauma by treating victims like criminals.

Advocates of the bill by Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk say many juveniles who have been trafficked flee centers or foster homes within hours.

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The bill is LB294

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