Debate in the Nebraska Legislature on the state’s overcrowded prisons

OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska) – The state appears willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to replace the state penitentiary, but studies – including the state’s – say it won’t be enough.

The state study says Nebraska’s prison population will grow from 5,800 inmates to 7,400 by 2030, which is within seven years. It would take five years to build a replacement penitentiary, which would hold around 1,500 inmates, meaning that by 2030, there will be 1,500 inmates with nowhere to go unless something changes.

“The Nebraska State Penitentiary should be closed, not replaced,” said Diane Amdor, staff attorney at Nebraska Appleseed. “The state should stop investing in expansions of the excessive physical infrastructure of our criminal law system.”

“The Tecumseh facility still remains in a staffing shortage despite positive earnings over the past year,” said Doug Koebernick, inspector general for the Nebraska Department of Corrections. “So we’ve seen some progress, but there are still concerns, and I just want to make sure everyone is aware of them.”

The Senior Citizen State Penitentiary Replacement Jail is priced at $335 million. It’s unclear if there are any buildings that would still be useful on the property or if it all has to collapse.

“This project can no longer be delayed,” said Diane Sabatka, acting director of the Department of Corrections. “As you may recall, NSP recently lost a housing unit to a water outage, resulting in the displacement of 140 inmates. Those beds will not be usable for the foreseeable future. This is an example of an aging infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court has offered this piece of the puzzle when it comes to the rehabilitation aspect.

“On any given day in Nebraska, there are approximately 14,000 adults and approximately 2,500 minors on probation,” said Mike Heavican, Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court. “The average annual cost of probationary adult supervision is $5,500 a year. Compare that to the cost of incarceration in the Nebraska prison system which is approximately $42,000 a year.

Content Source

The Sarpy County – Latest News:
Omaha Local News || Nebraska State News || Crime and Safety News || National news || Tech News || Lifestyle News

Related Articles

Back to top button