March 2, 2015

A-G Bruning still hopeful prison reform will be addressed this session

Addressing the good time law was at the top of the list at the start of the legislative session.

Now it appears that little will be done to address the issue.

Several lawmakers have stated Nebraska’s incarceration rate is too high. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning strongly disagrees. He says Nebraska incarcerates one-quarter of one-percent of the population. A-G Bruning says in Missouri it is a half-percent, 1/3 of a percent of Kansas and 4/10ths of a percent in Colorado. He says the whole debate structured around the idea that we have people in prison who don’t need to be there is false.

A-G Bruning says addressing good time is a critical piece of reform in corrections. He doesn’t believe that Governor Heineman will look favorably on other ideas coming from the committee unless they address good time including the $5-million appropriated for the Vocational and Life Skills Program Fund. He is still hopeful this critical piece of prison reform will be addressed this session.