Will Nebraska Engage Real Reasons for Prison Overcrowding?

The prison overcrowding topic is current in Nebraska, where the core issues might or might not be addressed.

Voters should be aware of, and be prepared to question politicians about, the true reasons for prison overcrowding. As suggested in an earlier post, one reason is that there is money to be made from the prison population: Your tax dollars pay for the upkeep of the forced labor, new laws (like Nebraska’s LB 285 of 2009) expand the forced labor pool, and salaries and benefits are just not a problem for those who profit from the corrections industry.

Here’s an excerpt from a recently published article on this issue:

The “private” prison industry is private in the same sense that crony capitalism is capitalist. Namely, not at all. It is the antithesis of a truly private industry that competes in the free market, does not accept tax funds, and cannot compel labor. By contrast, the “private” prisons enjoy a monopoly over a service that is created by laws and sentencing policies. They receive tax money and preferential treatment. They exploit captive labor through circumstances similar to plantation slavery.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

January 2014 Newsletter Going to Press

The January 2014 issue of Ninety-Five%, the newsletter for friends of Nebraskans Unafraid/FACTS, is going to press and will be in the mail soon.

This issue includes a moving account of community support offered to the wives of former sex offenders. All families who have experienced the pain of Nebraska’s state-imposed shunning will be heartened by this straight-from-the-heart account.

A second story in the newsletter looks at how the widespread lie about former sex offender reoffense rates — which has been codified into Nebraska state law — needlessly creates homelessness, shatters families and makes our communities more dangerous.

If you wish to support and receive the Ninety-Five% monthly newsletter, you may send a check (we suggest $5 per month) payable to Nebraskans Unafraid to: Nebraskans Unafraid c/o FACTS, P.O. Box 460664, Papillion, Nebraska 68046.

Note You Can Send to Candidates for Sheriff and Other Offices

Following up on our previous post regarding the need for you to be sure to vote, here is a note that one former SO sent to candidates in races that he will help decide:

I am a registered voter.  I am also an ex-offender.

In 1990 I was arrested and charged for a sex-crime.  I was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10-25 years.  With “good-time” I served 12 1/2 years. 

When I was released, I was advised I would have to register for 10 years as a sex-offender on a registry that didn’t even exist when I was convicted.  At that time I was deemed to be only of moderate risk and my whereabouts were only made public to schools and daycare centers, and then only if I moved near to them.  I would have been removed from the registry in January of 2013. 

However, the law was changed.  Suddenly, despite having had no arrests or convictions for anything since my release in January, 2003, a new law went in to effect and was applied to me.  Now, I have to register for the rest of my life, in person, every three months; I’m now on the public registry which makes it very difficult to get a job; and I’m told where I can and cannot live. 

(The law reads) “Nebraska State Statute 29-4002 declares that sex offenders present a high risk to commit repeat offenses and that efforts of law enforcement agencies to protect their communities, conduct investigations, and quickly apprehend sex offenders are impaired by the lack of available information about individuals who have pleaded guilty to or have been found guilty of sex offenses and who live in their jurisdiction. Because of that, the legislature determined that state policy should assist efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect their communities by requiring sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies as provided by the Sex Offender Registration Act.”  

The problem with this is the fact that we don’t present any higher of a risk to commit repeat offenses than any other felon.  In fact, aside from persons who have committed murder, we present a lower risk to repeat offenses than all other ex-felons.  Therefore, the state is making our lives miserable and difficult based upon a false premise.  The state is squandering millions, the federal government is squandering millions, to track and harass citizens who are among the least likely to cause further problems.

So, if citizens like me are going to vote for you, what are you going to do for or against us if elected?