Top officials from all three branches of Nebraska government began a formal review Wednesday of the state prison system, looking at ways to reduce overcrowding and costs while maintaining public safety.
The study will examine alternatives to incarceration such as probation and drug courts.
Lawmakers this year established a 19-member working group to look for solutions, led by Gov. Dave Heineman, Speaker of the Legislature Greg Adams and Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican.
Council of State Governments members will look at what other states have done recently to reduce their prison populations. Nebraska's prisons housed 5,175 inmates as of May 31st, placing the system at 158 percent of its operating capacity.