Lawmakers Question Former Department of Corrections Leader

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Lawmakers in Lincoln questioned the former Director of the Department of Corrections Friday in the first of many hearings by the Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee.

Bob Houston was the director up until almost a year ago. Friday the committee peppered Houston with questions about the major issues that have plagued the Department for the last year, including the Nikko Jenkins' case and miscalculated prison sentences.

The topics covered include overcrowding, administrative confinement (keeping an inmate separate from the general population) and how those issues have contributed to the two major red marks the Department of Corrections has seen in the last year.

One of the red marks is the Nikko Jenkins case, where Jenkins was released from prison and went on kill multiple people. While in prison he had written letters saying he planned to kill when he was released.

The second red mark being the most recent good time law miscalculations.

Questioning continued over what information and what involvement both Houston and Governor Dave Heineman had.

In talking with the chair of the committee Senator Lathrop, he said he does believe these topics are related. He added he doesn't know where the committee will take this information next.

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