Bills aim to lower Nebraska prison overcrowding

Reporter JoAnne Young writes about several bills Nebraska senators have introduced this session aimed at reducing overcrowding in the state’s prisons, which are at approximately 160-percent of capacity.

Several of the bills had hearings Thursday afternoon in front of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, including one (LB852) that would provide for medical release and rehabilitative options for inmates, and another (LB868) that would assist prisoners in getting recommended programming for re-entry into the community.A bill (LB842) introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks would re-establish a so-called one-third sentencing rule to require that a minimum sentence not exceed one-third of the maximum term for certain felonies, unless a mandatory minimum sentence is required.The change could allow offenders to become eligible for parole sooner and potentially alleviate crowding in Nebraska prisons. It had been used beginning in the 1970s, but was taken out of law in the early 1990s. 

Read more here.

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