ACLU threatens lawsuit over Nebraska prisons

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The ACLU of Nebraska is threatening a lawsuit over the conditions of Nebraska's prisons.

The organization sent a letter Monday to Governor Pete Ricketts outlining what the ACLU calls multiple violations of Nebraska and Federal Civil Rights laws. Those include overcrowding, mental health and solitary confinement.

The letter asks the governor to immediately declare an emergency, allocate emergency funding to Nebraska Department of Corrections to fill current staff and to fix the constitutional and legal violations listed in the letter.

The ACLU said they will file the lawsuit if no immediate or concrete steps are taken within 10 days.

Governor Ricketts' spokesman, Taylor Gage, said NDCS continues to make steady progress, and follow through on the CSG justice reinvestment plan for Nebraska. He adds the ACLU's call to release prisoners early in response to violent incidents is absurd and threatens public safety.

"We call on the ACLU to support our efforts to fully fund NDCS' budget needs, including additional corrections officers who protect the public and inmates," Gage said.