Nebraska Prison Crowding Prompts Push For Reform

Prison overcrowding is prompting lawmakers to take a new look at supervised release programs in Nebraska, along with reforms to the system that awards "good time" credit to reduce prison sentences.

The population in Nebraska's nine corrections facilities has risen to nearly 154 percent of their capacity, with nearly 4,900 inmates.

Lawmakers will review the problem in a hearing this week. Sen. Brad Ashford, who is leading the prison reform efforts, says Nebraska needs to expand community programs for inmates to help them return to society.

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Michael Kenney says community supervision is a "viable option" to reduce overcrowding, but he also wants to see a state consultant's recommendation for a long-term plan. The report is due for release in May.

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