Why prison should be abolished

Nebraska legislators have advanced a bill (LB841) that aims to address the state’s prison overcrowding problem.Nebraska prisons house approximately 5,300 inmates, when they were designed to hold just over 3,400 — 155-percent of capacity. Provisions of the bill include requiring the Department of Correctional Services to implement an accelerated release plan for inmates if the […]

Bills to reduce Nebraska prison overcrowding pulled from debate after filibuster threat

One word nearly derailed the Nebraska Legislature’s attempt to pass a bill aimed at reducing the state’s prison population, as reported in the Lincoln Journal-Star.An attempt to change one word — the word “shall” to the word “may” — nearly scuttled a package of legislative bills aimed at reducing prison crowding Tuesday. It did prompt Judiciary Committee Chairwoman […]

Omnibus prison reform bill advances

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that seeks to address overcrowding of the state’s prisons. Under LB 841 advanced on Tuesday, corrections and the State Board of Parole would be required to devise a plan, by Dec. 1, on how to deal with, or avoid, such an emergency… The bill advanced on Tuesday also allows […]

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 […]

Nebraska ACLU prison overcrowding lawsuit survives legal challenge

U.S. District Judge Robert Rossiter has ruled that the ACLU’s lawsuit against the state of Nebraska over conditions in the state’s prisons can proceed, though the judge dismissed portions of the lawsuit.“This is a complete victory for us. All of our claims survive, all of our claims go forward,” said David Fathi, who directs the […]

Legislature OK’s another special committee to investigate state prisons

Maybe the third time’s the charm?From the Omaha World-Herald:LINCOLN — The Nebraska Legislature will continue its extra scrutiny of the state’s corrections system.On a 28-11 vote Thursday, lawmakers approved formation of the Nebraska Justice System Special Oversight Committee.It is the third special committee formed by the Legislature since 2014 to look into chronic problems within […]

Inmates’ deaths ruled homicides

Nebraska prison officials say the deaths of two inmates during a March 2 riot at the Tecumseh state prison were homicides.  From the Lincoln Journal-Star report:Damon Fitzgerald and Michael Galindo both had multiple sharp and blunt force injuries, according to a press release from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.Spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith said Galindo’s death […]

Family of inmate killed in Tecumseh prison riot sues state

The family of one of two inmates killed in a riot at the Tecumseh state prison in 2015 has filed a lawsuit against the state. The family of Shon Collins filed the lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court. They say the prison was under-staffed and guards failed to protect Collins and another inmate who was […]

Neb. prison population increasing faster than other states

A new report finds that state prison populations have decreased slightly in the past 15 years. Thirty-nine states have seen declines in the number of prisoners, while 11 states have seen increases.Nebraska leads the list of states with more people in prison. Read the Sentencing Project’s report here.