MONTOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers could revisit criminal justice reform as the state grapples with prison overcrowding and a shortage of corrections officers.
Lawmakers consider criminal justice review
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Legislature is considering creation of a panel to study and recommend changes to the state's criminal justice system.
Nebraska prisons head says overcrowding emergency is likely
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is likely to face a prison overcrowding emergency next year that will force state officials to consider releasing all eligible inmates, a prospect some lawmakers fear would endanger the public.
Nebraska corrections director Scott Frakes acknowledged Friday that his department will probably fail to meet a mandatory deadline to reduce the state's prison population by July 1, 2020, triggering the emergency.
Deadline looms for Nebraska to reduce prison overcrowding
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska prison and parole officials say they're forging ahead with state-mandated plans to reduce overcrowding in the correctional system, but some lawmakers are worried the agencies will miss a looming deadline, forcing them to take more drastic action.
The Department of Correctional Services and Board of Parole highlighted the steps they've taken in a report this month to the Legislature but offered few specifics on the progress they've made so far.
AP FACT CHECK: Walker right on Wisconsin prison population
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker spent much of the week before Tuesday's primary election protesting some of his Democratic opponents' hopes to reduce the state's prison population.
The state's truth-in-sentencing law — Walker authored it when he was in the Legislature — prohibits the early release of prisoners, which has contributed to prison overcrowding and spurred some lawmakers to consider building a new prison.
Twin Falls jail in ‘crisis’ as felony cases increase
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — As Twin Falls expands as a regional hub, the jail and prosecutor's desk are overflowing with felons and felony cases.
The county prosecuting attorney's office is on track to deal with an estimated 900 felony cases this year, nearly double what the office saw 10 years ago.
LINCOLN - A package of corrections bills has advanced in the legislature, aimed to resolve the stubborn problem of prison overcrowding.
It makes only minor changes in an effort to reduce a prison population now at 150% of designed capacity.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln reminds colleagues if not reduced to 140% by July 2020, a state of emergency must be declared, and prisoners released.
LINCOLN — A much-amended bill aimed at addressing the state’s chronic prison overcrowding was revived from the dead on Thursday, but at least two senators say its impact will be modest at best.
The bill, addressing one of the state’s biggest and most nagging problems, puts a Dec. 1 deadline on a report that’s already being prepared, changes the name of a parole department and requires a more expanded look at prison staffing needs.
Bills to address Nebraska’s prison overcrowding stalls
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — With limited time left in the legislative session, lawmakers hit a roadblock Tuesday in their efforts to address overcrowding and other problems in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawmakers are racing against the clock to find a solution for Nebraska's persistent prison overcrowding problem as adjournment nears and a deadline to reduce the inmate population looms.
Debate on a new corrections package is slated to begin this week, and key lawmakers say they're hopeful it will help fix overcrowding problems that have plagued the Department of Correctional Services for years.
Proposed sentencing change would decrease Nebraska prison overcrowding and save money, lawmaker says
LINCOLN — Some state lawmakers are renewing a political fight they lost in 2015 over requiring criminals to receive prison sentences that provide for a meaningful period on parole supervision.
Three years ago, after a last-minute push by the state’s criminal prosecutors, a proposal to reinstate a so-called “one-third rule” in prison sentences was stripped out of a major package of sentence reforms because of claims that it was soft on crime.
Democratic candidates support criminal justice overhaul
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic candidates for governor are voicing support for an overhaul of Wisconsin's criminal justice system, saying Gov. Scott Walker has failed to adequately address the root causes of prison overcrowding.
Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor gathered Wednesday for a forum on the issue at a church across the street from the state Capitol.
Talk the talk, walk the walk.
More than a handful of bills dealing with the Nebraska Department of Corrections, prison overcrowding and inmate opportunities and services have been introduced to lawmakers this year. Let’s hope that we see more action than words.
I like the way Senator Paul Schumacher of Columbus put it in a report in the Lincoln Journal-Star.
Senators call for changes in Corrections to reduce prison overcrowding
LINCOLN - A group of state senators says the Unicameral must continue to press for legislation to ease overcrowded conditions in Nebraska prisons.
The group held a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda to outline legislation filed for this session, mostly an outgrowth of the work completed by the Special Oversight Committee on Corrections created by Legislative Resolution 127.
LINCOLN — Senators are making another run at cracking the prison overcrowding problems in Nebraska with a stack of bills being introduced this week.
The justice system oversight committee report showed that while progress has been made in the Department of Correctional Services, more work needs to be done on significant overcrowding and understaffing, said Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz.
LINCOLN — Senators introduced a number of criminal justice-themed and Department of Correctional Services-related bills on Wednesday. They included:
Nebraska’s prison crunch is decades in the making. A potentially forced resolution of sorts looms much nearer.
By July 1, 2020, Nebraska must have a prison population at or below 140 percent of capacity to avoid a prison overcrowding emergency. If the figure exceeds that, state law requires the Board of Parole to immediately consider nearly all parole-eligible inmates for release.
- Norfolk Daily NewsGov. Ricketts insists moves will reduce prison overcrowdingJanuary 22, 2019
- Norfolk Daily NewsFrakes doesn't think Nebraska prisons will meet deadline to ease crowdingJanuary 19, 2019
- Norfolk Daily NewsSix takeaways from Gov. Ricketts' State of the State speechJanuary 17, 2019
- Norfolk Daily NewsJudge has conflict on prison overcrowding issue, declares mistrial in Tecumseh riot caseNovember 29, 2018
While you were busy complaining about the President and Congress and concerning yourself with election results in Alabama and hurricane cleanup in Puerto Rico, here’s what was happening in your backyard.
Nebraska committee urges for prison overcrowding preparation
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Legislature's special oversight committee on Nebraska's justice system has recommended that the state begin to plan for a prison overcrowding emergency that could lead to paroling a large number of inmates.
The Nebraska prison population will be considered overcrowded if it exceeds 140 percent of capacity on or after July 1, 2020, though the governor is authorized to declare an overcrowding emergency before that date.
LINCOLN -- In 2015, two prisoners were killed by fellow inmates in Tecumseh State Prison following a riot on Mother's Day. Two more inmates were killed in 2017 after inmates took control of part of the maximum security prison.
Some have pointed to overcrowding in prisons as the cause of these incidents. Now, many county sheriffs worry that prison overcrowding has in turn increased the average daily population of county jails, with a large number of facilities at or above capacity.
Democratic lawmaker pitches plan to address prison overcrowding, Lincoln Hills
To address its overcrowded prison system, Wisconsin should convert the beleaguered Lincoln Hills juvenile prison into a treatment facility for adults, a Democratic lawmaker told an unusual bipartisan gathering Wednesday.
Officials hopeful new dorm at Lincoln prison will help relieve overcrowding, reduce repeat crimes
LINCOLN — State officials unveiled a new, 100-bed inmate dormitory on Thursday that they said would not only reduce prison overcrowding but also decrease repeat crimes.
The 100-bed concrete dorm, which already holds 46 low-risk work-release inmates, was the result of state lawmakers’ calls for quick action to reduce prison overcrowding that has plagued Nebraska for a decade.
State officials say addition to Lincoln lockup may reduce number of repeat offenses
LINCOLN — State officials unveiled a new, 100-bed inmate dormitory on Thursday that they said would not only reduce prison overcrowding but decrease repeat crimes.
The 100-bed concrete dorm, which already holds 46 low-risk work release inmates, was the result of state lawmakers calling for quick action to reduce prison overcrowding that has plagued Nebraska for a decade.
Overtime, turnover continue to increase among Nebraska correctional workers, despite efforts at reform
LINCOLN — Overtime hours and turnover rates continued to increase among Nebraska correctional workers this year, despite recent reform efforts.
A report, issued Thursday by the inspector general of the Nebraska correctional system, said it remains in “a significant staffing crisis” that has broad impact.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Inmates at a Kansas prison housing some of the state's most dangerous criminals twice took control of the prison yard for hours in recent months, setting a fire, trying to create barricades and breaking into a security office, in mass disturbances not previously disclosed by corrections officials, according to prison guards who spoke to The Associated Press.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin urged lawmakers to take additional steps to reduce Oklahoma's escalating incarceration costs after she signed one such measure aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.
ACLU issues warning to Ricketts: Act now to address state prison problems or get sued
LINCOLN — The ACLU of Nebraska issued an ultimatum to Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday: Take immediate action to address the state’s chronic prison overcrowding and staff shortages or get sued.
The six-page letter gave the governor 10 days to respond.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two Alabama lawmakers proposed a bill on Wednesday that would serve as an alternative to the governor's construction plan to relieve prison overcrowding.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, a Democrat from Red Bay, and Rep. Allen Farley, a Republican from McCalla, would pay sheriffs to house 1,500 state inmates in county jails instead of building new state prisons as Gov. Robert Bentley has proposed.
Romanian leader slams government plan to pardon prisoners
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president urged the government on Monday to scrap a proposal to pardon thousands of prisoners, a move which has led to major anti-government protests.
President Klaus Iohannis spoke after tens of thousands of people marched through Romania's capital and other cities on Sunday to protest the initiative, which critics say could reverse anti-corruption efforts.
US court revives inmate’s lawsuit against Oklahoma governor
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived an Oklahoma prison inmate's lawsuit that alleges overcrowding and understaffing at state prison facilities has created dangerous conditions for inmates and inadequate sanitation, laundry and other services.