Nebraskans protest new prisons at Capitol

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:33 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraskans protested against new prisons at the Capitol on Feb 27th. This comes as Nebraska’s Corrections Department proposed a $230 million prison this legislative session to curb overcrowding.

There were nearly 100 people outside the Capitol Saturday afternoon. Organizers were calling it peaceful protests against a new prison. Signs included “No New Prisons”, “People Not Prisons” and “Stop Mass Incarceration.”

State officials said they’ve tried for years to ease prison crowding by expanding parole, changing sentencing laws and creating new programs. Those at the Capitol Saturday said building a new prison isn’t the answer.

“Putting $230 million into a new prison when we don’t even properly fund a lot of resources and programs that could help prevent crime from occurring in the first place is just completely backward,” said Maggie Ballard, a protestor.

Nebraskans for Peace would like to see money being put into mental health programs, substance abuse treatment and early childhood education to help with prison overcrowding. One Nebraskan who spent nearly 20 years in prison, and some of that in solitary confinement, thinks people need to be invested in and not prisons.

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