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Prisons head says Nebraska overcrowding emergency is likely

Prisons head says Nebraska overcrowding emergency is likely

Nebraska’s corrections director is acknowledging the state will probably fail to meet a mandatory deadline to reduce its prison population by July 2020, forcing parole officials to consider releasing all eligible inmates.

Scott Frakes said prison officials have more work to do after lawmakers repeatedly asked him Friday if he believed the goal was still attainable.

Nebraska’s corrections department faces a July 1, 2020, deadline imposed by the Legislature to lower its inmate population to 140 percent of what its facilities were designed to hold. Falling short of that target will put the prisons in an “overcrowding emergency.”

As of last month, Nebraska’s prisons were at 158 percent of their total design capacity.

The deadline was imposed to hold the department accountable for its efforts to reduce prison crowding.a

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