Governor Pete Ricketts postponed a town hall meeting in Lexington on Thursday to address Wednesday night’s inmate assault on prison staff at the Lincoln Correctional Center. Governor Ricketts says he first took time to meet with the staff that was assaulted. He says things they talked about included how to change inmate discipline and other things to change the situation.
Governor Ricketts says when a staff member is assaulted a prosecutor decides whether additional charges are filed against the inmate. He says discipline is basically limited to to current laws on the book.
Governor Ricketts says, “We also have to look into that environment as well regarding privileges and how are we treating people. This is actually one of the problems we have had with the Legislature when they passed LB 598 which was in regards on how to segregate those people that are causing problems. They gave us very little time to write those regulations. When I talked to to the corrections office yesterday that was one of the areas of concern. In communication with Director (Scott) Frakes, these kinds of regulations take years and get the input of staff on how they should be written and the Legislature didn’t give us the time to get that done.” Governor Ricketts says it is up to the Legislature to re-address the laws so our corrections officers are safe.
Another issue addressed was the contract corrections staff have with the union. Governor Ricketts says they have talked with union officials to address those concerns. He says they spoke with Mike Marvin who is the head of the union who questioned the need for doing so but didn’t deny the request. Some of the issues in the contract include pay, flexibility on rewarding and retaining staff and other issues that can be taken care not contained in the contract.