State Initiatives: Nebraska

Nebraska’s prison population increased by 34 percent between 1995 and 2005, and its corrections budget nearly tripled.[i] In 2006 and 2007, Nebraska began addressing this by enhancing the availability of less costly, community-based options for nonviolent offenders. Policymakers created the Community Corrections Council that launched new day and night reporting centers established by the state’s Community Corrections Council. Governor Dave Heineman, a Republican, praised these centers and emphasized the state’s commitment to community corrections, which he said “can help provide better results than simply building more maximum-security prisons in our state.”[ii]

While this initiative resulted in fewer nonviolent, low-risk offenders, particularly drug possession offenders, entering Nebraska prisons, the state continues to face prison overcrowding. There are nine lockups that are currently over 140 percent of capacity, which triggers automatic notification to the governor.[iii] Faced with the overflowing prisons and a tight budget, corrections officials are looking at various policy options that would address budgetary and capacity pressures while improving public safety.

[i] Nebraska Profile, Pew Center on the States,
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] JoAnne Young, “Prisons look to parole 260 to ease crowding,” Lincoln Journal-Star, 6 Nov. 2010,

  • Marc Levin on ‘Drive Time Lincoln’ with Kevin Thomas

    Posted in Audio, Nebraska, Parole and Re-Entry, ROC Blog, State Initiatives: February 12, 2014 by Right on Crime

    Marc Levin spoke with KLIN’s ‘Drive Time Lincoln’ to discuss public safety and post-incarceration employment in Nebraska.

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  • Nebraska’s “fresh look on reform”

    Posted in Audio and Video, Law Enforcement, Nebraska, Prisons, ROC Blog, State Initiatives: February 10, 2014 by Right on Crime

    In this segment of Nebraska’s KNOP-TV, ROC policy director Marc Levin proposes three solutions for improving the state’s criminal justice system.

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  • In State of the Judiciary, Nebraska’s top judge calls for more prison alternatives

    Posted in Nebraska, ROC Blog, State Initiatives, Substance Abuse: January 17, 2014 by Right on Crime

    Smart criminal justice reform works. 82% of graduates of Nebraska’s Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision program had jobs, and 91% were still crime-free a year later. Click here to read the article.

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  • Omaha World Herald: Nebraska prisons failing at rehabilitation programs

    Posted in Nebraska, Parole and Re-Entry, Prisons, ROC Blog, State Initiatives: January 12, 2014 by Right on Crime

    Right on Crime Policy Director Marc Levin is quoted in this Omaha World Herald article that discusses the inadequacies of Nebraska’s prison system. Marc Levin, who helped guide a prison reform effort in Texas that allowed the state to close prisons and reduce spending, said increased rehab while in prison was key in the Lone Star State. […]

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  • Podcast with Nebraska Senator Brad Ashford

    Posted in Audio, Audio and Video, Juvenile Justice, Nebraska, Priority Issues, ROC Blog, State Initiatives: July 17, 2013 by Vikrant P. Reddy

    In this podcast, Senator Brad Ashford of Nebraska speaks about LB 561, a bill that institutes major reforms of the Nebraska juvenile justice system.

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  • Freighters Fined For Cartel Crimes?

    Posted in Nebraska, Overcriminalization, Priority Issues, ROC Blog: June 29, 2011 by Henry Joel Simmons

    One of Nebraska’s largest companies, Union Pacific Railroad, now owes the federal government $400 million, according to an AP article. The railroad is not liable because of bailouts, loans, or back taxes owed, but because drug cartels have become quite skilled at hiding drugs on Union Pacific’s trains.

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  • Send Nebraska’s State Inmates to County Jail?

    Posted in Nebraska, ROC Blog, State Initiatives: November 26, 2010 by Vikrant P. Reddy

    According to The Omaha World-Herald, Nebraska may seek to alleviate its prison overcrowding crisis (the state prison system is 40% over capacity) by transferring the inmates to county jails.

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