Neb. lawmakers planning to overhaul state prisons

Oct 5, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce overcrowding in Nebraska's prison system, with a focus on services for the mentally ill, drug users and inmates who are least likely to re-offend.

Officials involved in Nebraska's justice system considered a series of options Friday during a meeting at the Capitol. State Senator Brad Ashford says lawmakers will introduce reform proposals when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Nebraska's nine prisons currently hold about 4,800 inmates, but only have room for 3,175. The Department of Correctional Services has projected that the population will hit 171 percent of its capacity by 2020.

An April report by the Council of State Governments found that Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania are each expected to save millions over the long-term by investing in treatment services.

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