State Senator Disappointed with DOC But Says Special Session Not the Answer

By: Clay Kush Email
By: Clay Kush Email
The Department of Corrections is committed to completing a thorough review to determine what decisions were made, when they were made, why, and by whom.  Once these facts are known, decisions can be made and appropriate actions can be taken.
After consulting with the Department of Administrative Services, through the Division of State Personnel, and obtaining permission from the Attorney General to use outside legal expertise, the Department of Corrections hired a private, external law firm to conduct an independent review.     
The independent review should be completed shortly and the Department of Corrections will take appropriate actions based upon the independent review.    
I want to emphasize that public safety is priority number one and that the really bad criminals need to be locked up.  Prison capacity issues and sentencing policy are two separate issues.  
-Governor’s Deputy Communications Office

LINCOLN, Neb.-- Many Nebraska leaders are shocked and looking for answers, following the news the Department of Corrections knowingly miscalculating prison sentences of prisoners.

State Senator Colby Coash said he was filled with disappointment upon hearing that officials with the DOC had knowingly continued to miscalculate prisoners sentence times, resulting in some prisoners being released far too early.

"It's one thing to have somebody make a clerical error, it's another thing to know that somebody had the information," said Coash.

Now, State Senator Brad Ashford has called for a special session. However Coash feels that addressing just this issue within the DOC would be far too narrow.

"We have many issues to work through with corrections and a special session only gives us access to a narrow focused issue," said Coach.

Coash knows that public opinion of the DOC is very low. He says next year's legislature will have to take a more active roll in monitoring the department.

"What you see is the legislature set its roll in an oversight capacity. What I'm going to be looking for is how can the legislature be a partner in making sure this does not happen again," said Coash.

Governor Dave Heineman's office released a statement saying the DOC is bringing in a private law firm to do an independent review to try and find out who is responsible.

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