A measure to define jailhouse contraband and punish those who bring unlawful items into Nebraska jails is advancing in the Legislature. Lawmakers on Tuesday gave first-round approval to a bill that sets a maximum penalty for supplying certain items to inmates.
Bringing a birthday cake to a loved one in prison with a cell phone hidden inside, for example, could get you a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Sen. Norm Wallman of Cortland says current law covers weapons or tools that could be used for escape. Legislative Bill 415 expands the law to include other items such as cell phones, cigarettes and money.
The Nebraska Sheriff's Association would create a list of unlawful items, which would be used by all city and county jails.
Wallman says the definition of contraband differs from place to place, and local officials want the same criteria and penalties for all facilities.