The Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, Greg Adams, makes perfect sense when he says lawmakers must be objective as they address prison overcrowding.
Adams commented on a report from the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, which has spent six months working with state officials on a sensible method to better protect public safety and reduce prison populations. He said the CSG work gives lawmakers a tremendous advantage in crafting law and public policy.
“Without this we’d be tackling the problem through emotion, through ideology and through politics,” Adams said.
That is good to know, because Nebraska sex-offender law is based on emotion, ideology and politics and it has to change. Because there are so many myths and lies that mainly go unchallenged, policymakers are afraid to speak publicly about why changing Nebraska sex-offender laws would help immensely with prison overcrowding. However, there is good information from CSG on this issue. Some of it is here.
Notably lacking from the CSG recommendations is any mention of changing Nebraska’s “good-time” law. There are some knee-jerk ideas out there that the good-time law is the reason Nikko Jenkins killed four people in Omaha. Fact is, Jenkins told corrections officials and others not to release him, because he was afraid that he would commit murder. They didn’t believe him and let him go anyway. “Good time” is not to blame for that. The people who poo-poohed Jenkins are to blame.
Blaming the good-time law in the Jenkins case is tackling the problem through emotion, ideology and politics and it’s good the CSG working group seems to understand that.