The state says it is making changes in staffing at its treatment centers for juvenile offenders to better match treatment to the needs of youths and to account for changes in the numbers of youths at those centers.

Staff is being hired at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Kearney and at a new treatment center in Lincoln. Staffing will be reduced at the treatment center in Geneva, according to a statement released Tuesday evening by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Leah Bucco-White, a spokeswoman for HHS, said 57 positions are being eliminated at the Geneva center and some of those are vacant. A total of 46 people are affected by the staff reduction at Geneva, she said.

The Geneva staff cuts, to go into effect Jan. 6, are the result of a decline in youths being treated there.

Roshelle Campbell, HHS human resources director, said the state will work with affected employees to help them shift to the Lincoln or Kearney center, find employment elsewhere with the state or qualify for specialty positions being created at Geneva.

The centers have struggled with a number of problems, including escapes, assaults on staff, staffing shortages, programming deficiencies and, in Geneva, deteriorating building conditions.

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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