The furlough program for inmates has been in question ever since an incident back in September. Now the City Council is voting to draft a bill to put more restrictions on the program.
Standing outside the Douglas County jail you can often see police cars bringing felons in, but what you don’t normally see are those inmates as they are let out when their time is complete.
Mike Lindgren works with Crossover Ministries. His goal is to prepare inmates for re-entry to society. He says an important element is the current furlough program.
“They need the furlough program to do a test case of how their going to survive or reintegrate into the community,” said Lindgren.
Recently that program has been under fire after Jermaine Lucas was out on furlough and killed in an officer related shooting.
Now the City Council is drafting a bill to crack down on furloughs for inmates with gang ties or violent crimes.
City Lobbyist Jack Cheloha will take the bill to the state legislature. “That was they will get a chance to take a hard look at how the furlough programs work, how our good behavior programs work, and ultimately I think everyone goal is to keep the community safe.”
Lindgren believes a few isolated issues are giving the entire program a bad name. He says there are other ways to combat the problem. “I think probably the best answer is better communication with local authorities when these individuals are coming out so that they can be watched or monitored.”
Lindgren says what’s really needed is a better emphasis on the re-entry programs. Both agree some changes in the system are needed.