State Report: Jenkins Case Mishandled

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Accused killer Nikko Jenkins should have been processed differently in the Nebraska prison system. That's one of many conclusions and assertions in a report released Tuesday by the Nebraska State Ombudsman Marshal Lux.

Among other things, the long, detailed report says the Department of Corrections should have done a better job of preparing Jenkins for release back into society. As it was, the report notes that for the last two years of his confinement, Jenkins was in solitary confinement.

The ombudsman document notes that this confinement would not only do little to treat any existing mental health issues that Jenkins had, but had potential to make his mental health issues worse.

The report notes that while in confinement Jenkins received no mental health treatment, yet it notes Jenkins was considered such a liability that he had to be isolated from the rest of the prison population. He went from that status to complete freedom on the streets with no preparation.

The Nebraska Department of Corrections tells WOWT Six News that it disagrees with the factual findings in the report but won't elaborate because Michael-Ryan Kruger has a $7.5 million lawsuit against the state.

As has been well-reported, Jenkins now stands accused of killing four people over a 10-day period which began just days after his release from prison.

The crime spree has set off a wide-ranging debate over the treatment of prisoners, the access they have to mental health care, the practice of giving prisoners shorter sentenced for so-called "good time", and more.

Shortly after the killing spree the director of the Nebraska Department of Corrections, Bob Houston, decided to retire. The department earlier had come under fire when an inmate, being used as a state driver, ended up causing a crash that killed a Lincoln woman.