Nebraska prison reform bill fails to advance
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As state senators have pointed out, Nebraska’s prison overcrowding is the worst in the nation, but LB 920 came to an end Wednesday. It attempted to reduce sentencing and penalties to lower the number of people incarcerated in Nebraska prisons.
The goal was to cover three broad categories including investing more in problem-solving courts, sentencing changes for non-violent felons and expanding programs.
On Wednesday, it failed during a cloture vote, falling four votes shy, essentially killing the bill. Supporters say a new prison won’t bring the number of prisoners down.
“We don’t have the most people incarcerated yet, but we’re getting there, we’re trying to get there. we don’t have a plan unless we do something pretty significant right here today.” State Sen. Wendy DeBoer said.
“To be pushed to do something that goes against a core value that I have is not gonna happen.” State Sen. Suzanne Geist said.
Nebraska prisons are currently designed to hold about 3,600 inmates, but the population is about 5,300. Some senators pointed to a proposed $236-million dollar new prison as the solution to overcrowding. The proposed prison would bring 1,500 beds to the state.
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