ACLU: New Report, Emergency Staffing Show New Prison is Wrong for Nebraska

aclu.org

(KFOR NEWS  June 30, 2021)   As two more Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) facilities prepare to enter emergency staffing, a new report from the Office of Inspector General of Corrections raises concerns with ongoing staffing emergencies at two other facilities and calls the situation “far from stable.”

The ACLU of Nebraska says the new developments are just further evidence that the proposal to build a $230 million prison is the wrong way to deal with Nebraska’s ongoing overcrowding crisis.

As required by state law, Nebraska has been in an official overcrowding emergency since July of 2020. As the emergency nears the one-year mark, several studies are underway focused on opportunities for reform and improvements.

ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad said she expects the findings to highlight opportunities to get this situation under control without construction.

“The new staffing emergencies underscore the good judgment of our state senators in pressing pause on this misguided scheme to build a massive new prison this year,” Conrad said. “We can’t even staff the prisons we already have, let alone a new one. Next year, the first order of business should be directing available funds to smart justice reform and community investments, not concrete.”

State senators approved a prison funding compromise in their most recent session, appropriating money for the design of a potential new prison but not allowing construction to move forward without further legislative action.

The ACLU of Nebraska advocates for a smart justice approach that would reduce the number of people imprisoned, address racial disparities and advance public safety. Learn more at aclunebraska.org/prison.

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