Lawmakers hear pitch for Nebraska prison reform

Feb 7, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Supporters of a Nebraska prison reform effort are arguing that the state needs to expand its supervised release programs and offer more services to help inmates return to society.

Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha said Thursday that the current system forces inmates to "jam out" of prisons with inadequate medication, housing or oversight, and no real prospects for a job. The state's prisons have collectively risen to 153 percent of their design capacity, with nearly 4,900 inmates.

Lawmakers have promised a series of prison reform efforts this year.

A new report by the Platte Institute for Economic Research suggests that the prison population soared with the passage of truth-in-sentencing laws.

The bills are LB907 and LB999.

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