Council Aims at Good Time Law

Nebraska's Good Time law, which often cuts a convicted inmate's sentence in half, has grabbed the attention of the Omaha City Council.

Council member Garry Gernandt says changes are needed and he points to Iowa as having an example of a law that seems to be working.

Gernandt says now is the perfect time to discuss a change in Nebraska’s law.

Accused killed Nikko Jenkins is the poster child for changing the provisions that are in place now. Out early on Good Time, police say Jenkins committed four murders in 10 days. The killings happened within one month of his release from prison.

Omaha's Police Union keeps track of early outs and they believe more trouble could be coming out of jail soon.

Spokesperson John Wells said, "If you go back and look at some of the high-profile stories, high-profile crimes, whether it be someone who was a serial robber that committed a crazy number of robberies or someone that was a murderer, there are people like that that are set to be released in the next few years."

That worries some members of the Omaha City Council. Garry Gernandt looked to Iowa where an inmate must complete 75 percent of a sentence before he's eligible for good time and Gernandt believes the time to talk about a change is right now, “just by the examples of what have happened here in Omaha within the last six months where those who have gotten out because of the good time and have committed everything from burglary to murder."

The proposal is part of the City Council's legislative package. It also includes allowing police to track prison parolees of certain violent crimes for up to six months after their release.


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