Lincoln, Neb. — Lawmakers are racing to pass legislation before the session ends that would address Nebraska’s prison overcrowding and a looming deadline to reduce the inmate population.
Debate on a corrections package is expected to begin this week. With just 12 working days left in the session, lawmakers say they believe it’s still possible to take action this year.
The state’s inmate population must drop from nearly 160 percent of design capacity to 140 percent by 2020 to avoid a deadline that would force officials to consider paroling all eligible inmates.
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services has faced criticism for several years because of overcrowding, under staffing, deadly riots and inmate escapes.
Sen. Laura Ebke, of Crete, said the measures are designed to pass without controversy.