Channel Six News Investigation Into Furloughs

Inmates receiving furloughs won’t be allowed to shop some of the same places any more.

A Channel Six News investigation revealed that Community Corrections inmate Charles Peterson had been granted a visit to Cabela's, the outdoor specialty store that sells firearms for hunting.

Peterson was convicted of attempted first degree murder and use of a firearm in the shooting of his wife 18 years ago.

Cabela's is located in LaVista police jurisdiction.

LaVista Chief Bob Lausten says, “Its concerning with this guy's violent past that he’d be able to go to a store with guns, so I think correctional services made the right call canceling this furlough at that location.”

Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning received furlough notices for eight inmates in December. Dunning is concerned that some are allowed to visit restaurants and theaters where parents take children.

Dunning says, “They should be able to send their child to the restroom or to the theater unattended and not worry that there’s going to be a felon in there.”

Community Corrections Warden Ryan Mahr says he’ll meet with the sheriff next week to discuss furlough concerns.

As for stores selling guns Warden Mahr says, “We won’t allow our inmates to go to any location where they are selling firearms.”

The warden says up to 200 inmates a month earn furloughs that help them transition back into society. It’s also an incentive to be model prisoners.

Todd Kucera is finishing a 10 year sentence for assault and looking forward to his furlough right after Christmas.

Kucera says, “I think if you are incarcerated and out in public, the public is safer because we are watched over.”

Inmates on furlough must be with family members and corrections staff have ways to monitor them.


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