A special legislative committee concludes solitary confinement and a lack of mental health care might well have pushed Nikko Jenkins to murder four people in Omaha.
Nikko Jenkins, convicted of killing four in Omaha after being released from prison, spent most of his time behind bars locked in solitary confinement.
“It illustrates the problem with administrative confinement and it illustrates the problems by not having adequate mental health care,” according to Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha.
Lathrop chaired the Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee, which formed to review the role the state played in the release of Jenkins in 2013. It expanded its charge to study the prison sentence miscalculation scandal.
Jenkins was released from prison after serving his term in late July. Within a month, he began to fulfill the promise he made in confinement; that he would kill once freed.
The committee concludes the state should have sought civil confinement for Jenkins, an option available when an inmate is considered mentally ill and a danger to himself and others.
Sen. Les Seiler of Hastings, vice chairman of the committee, says mental health treatment needs to be restored to the prison system.
“Thirty-one percent of 5,054 people (inmates) have mental health problems and I think when you use (the term) mental health that includes drug addiction and alcohol addiction,” Seiler says. “That also is going to help recidivism.”
Click here for full committee report.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]