Legislature Looks At Prison Reform

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While the legislature is busy introducing and debating laws, it is the judiciary that is responsible for enforcing those.

Chief Justice Mike Heavican addressed the legislature, not only to share the issues he hopes the legislature will help the judiciary tackle, but also to celebrate successes they have had in the last year.

He said the State has worked on corrections alternatives and had some successful programs, but that they continue to make improvements.

Judiciary Committee Chairperson Brad Ashford said his big issue this session is prison reform.

He introduced a bill on Wednesday addressing supervised release, probation officers, a Nebraska Center for Justice Research, and other prison related topics.

"It does not mean the corrections officers are doing a bad job, it just means the system we have in place makes it very difficult for them to be successful. So we need more resources for programming in the prisons, we need more probation officers," said Senator Ashford.

He said the judiciary provides the best justice possible but would like to see improvements in the system of rehabilitating inmates after they are released.

Chief Justice Heavican said there have also been major improvements in juvenile justice.