State senator weighs in on the state’s good time law. Nebraska’s law allows for parole consideration after half the time of the front end of a sentence is served, provided the inmate has followed prison rules. The release of Nikko Jenkins from prison under the good time provision prompted debate of the law when Jenkins was accused of four murders in Omaha.
The Cassgram from a weekly report from District 2 State Senator Bill Kintner of rural Papillion: “Several aspects of this issue can be assessed: First, the good time law itself—why have an automatic reduction by one-half in a prisoner’s sentence? The prisoner should have to earn the sentence reduction by exhibiting good behavior.
“Second, the sentencing statutes—why are judges setting a sentence at a certain level when they know that it will be cut in half? Also, the state agency’s regulations – is there a way to take away more good time for an inmate’s bad behavior in prison?
“Third, for extremely violent or repeat offenders it makes sense to greatly restrict the good time credits.
“Finally, the state budget—what are the costs and prison space needs of either extending sentences or cutting good time?
“I do not pretend to have all the answers to these problems that we face regarding violent criminals. But I can tell you that unless we learn from these events, they are bound to happen again. Clearly, there is no simple solution to this problem but we need to rethink how we handle these situations.”