Nebraska's "Good Time Law" To Be Replaced?

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Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Attorney General Jon Bruning announced Monday a proposal to replace the state's "good time law" with earned time.

Under the current law, inmates sentenced by the judicial system to serve terms with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services automatically have their sentenced reduced by half for their term of incarceration.

The “earned time” proposal requires inmates convicted of the most violent crimes to earn a reduction in their sentence. The proposed legislation would apply to inmates who commit the most violent crimes including murder, manslaughter, first degree assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, escape, assault of an officer, assault by a confined person, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and similar offenses committed after the bill would become law.

The legislation will be introduced during the current Legislative Session by State Senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha.

In addition to changing the current law, Governor Heineman signed new rules for the Department of Correctional Services to administer the "good time" credit. The new rule allows for corrections officials to take away twice as much “good time” for misbehavior, including assaults on corrections officials and other prisoners. The new maximum penalty allows for up to two years, instead of one year, of “good time” loss for inmates.