Nebraska Department of Correctional Services plans for upgrades

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services is moving ahead on projects approved by the Nebraska Legislature during the past session. The department is looking for a consultant to shepherd the addition of 96 beds to a combined Lincoln Correctional Center and Diagnostic Evaluation Center. Construction is underway to connect the facilities, which would increase capacity by almost 450 beds, according to a news release. The 96 additional beds would be set aside for older people and those with mental health problems or other special needs, the release states.

Work on the project should be underway in 90 days. Interested consultants can submit their requests for proposals until 1 p.m. June 21. The agency currently is working with architects to updated the department’s master plan and define the scope of the construction.

“That document is a major undertaking which involves visits to all the facilities, interviews with staff members, analysis of what has been done previously as well as future projections of the state’s bed space needs,” said Scott R. Frakes, director of the department. “A multitude of variables go into developing this document, with information pertinent to each facility.”

The Nebraska State Penitentiary also is seeking proposals for designing and planning a new, 1,512-bed facility. Proposals are due at 1 p.m. June 21, and a selection committee will choose candidates to interview in person.

“Identifying a sizable piece of land that is close to utilities, services, and other considerations is paramount to the project,” Frakes said. “It must be built in an area that can meet workforce needs.”

The Nebraska Legislature approved $14.7 million in state funds to start the designing and planning for the new prison.

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