Nebraska Corrections Unveils Plans to Improve Department

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) has unveiled a plan that specifically outlines ways the department will improve its policies and procedures.

First on the list is to retain and train employees. This comes just one day after a report criticized the Tecumseh State Prison for being understaffed with inexperienced personal during a deadly prison riot in May.

NDCS Director Scott Frakes unveiled his strategic plan outlining initial steps to move forward.

“This strategic plan will serve as a road map for the agency’s work in the coming months and years,” said Director Frakes. “As we work to achieve the goals we have set, the team at Corrections will use targeted strategies to achieve outcomes and measurements to keep us on course.”

The strategic plan released Wednesday has set five goals for the department with specific outcomes:

• Build One Team, One Vision by retaining employees, engaging the agency’s workforce, and providing the training needed to keep employees safe.
• Transform Corrections by employing data-guided approaches to improve operational excellence, complete justice reinvestment initiatives, and create mission-specific housing.
• Foster a Transparent and Accountable culture by making the agency accessible to oversight and media stakeholders, maintain a balanced budget, and integrating external measures
• Create Collaborative Community Relationships by focusing resources on community corrections, encouraging staff to engage their community through volunteerism, and fully understanding the role of the NDCS within the criminal justice system.
• Shift to a Culture of Reentry and Rehabilitation that focuses on reentry, creates individual reentry plans starting at reception, and ensures that individual needs are addressed.

Towards this end, the plan also outlines steps that will be taken to achieve these outcomes. A few of the highlights include:

• Build capacity by improving core services in existing facilities, add additional beds to expand community custody resources, and repurpose existing beds.
• Conduct a risk-needs assessment that measures the individual inmate’s risk to reoffend, history of violence, and criminogenic needs to determine assignment of programming resources.
• Implement performance measurements to drive performance improvement and create a foundation for data-driven leadership and decision making.