Bill would place state prisoners in county jails

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ The Lancaster County corrections director would rather not have his jail handle any overflow from the state's overcrowded prisons.

The Lincoln Journal Star says ( ) the main budget bill in the Legislature would provide money to move 150 inmates now in state custody to county jails.

County corrections director Mike Thurber says his 779-bed jail handles an average of up to 580 inmates a day, leaving room for state prisoners. But Thurber says he's staffed to adequately handle just 550 inmates.

Lancaster County Board Chairman Larry Hudkins says the $35 a day the state used to pay didn't come close to covering county costs.

Prisons spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith says the state doesn't plan to force counties to take state prisoners even if funding were approved to move some into jails.

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