Boys Training School Kearney

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Boys Training School Kearney
Established 1879
Opened 1881
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Kearney, OK
Alternate Names
  • Nebraska State Reform School for Juvenile Offenders
  • Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Kearney (Current)


The Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Kearney (YRTC-K) was established by the Nebraska State Legislature in 1879 and began receiving young people, both male and female, in July 1881. In 1892, the then Nebraska State Reform School for Juvenile Offenders, became a male-only youth facility with the establishment of the female youth facility in Geneva, Nebraska. The original 320-acre Kearney campus was developed on land donated to the State of Nebraska by the City of Kearney.

The State of Nebraska returned nearly 200 acres to the City of Kearney for the development of a city-operated golf course in 1991. On January 1, 1994, the institutional name was changed for the fifth time to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center by the Nebraska Unicameral. YRTC-K also was placed legislatively under the Office of Juvenile Services within the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

On January 1, 1997, the Unicameral merged the Office of Juvenile Services with four other State agencies to form the Health and Human Services System. On July 1, 2007 HHSS reorganized into the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). DHHS is the parent agency under which YRTC-K is one of nine 24 hour care facilities including three Regional centers, three Veterans Homes, one Development Center, and the two YRTC’s. YRTC-K is within the DHSS Policy Section.