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Nebraska's Justice Reinvestment Approach: Reduce Prison Overcrowding and Expanding Probation and Parole Supervision

"Faced with a prison system at 159 percent of capacity and expected to grow to 170 percent of capacity by FY2020, state leaders in Nebraska pursued justice reinvestment. After extensive analyses identified key challenges in the state’s criminal justice system, policymakers developed a policy framework designed to reduce prison overcrowding and expand the use of probation and parole supervision. Justice reinvestment legislation was enacted in May 2015 and is projected to avert $306 million in construction and operations costs by FY2020."

Sections of this brief include:

  • overview;
  • summary of the justice reinvestment process-challenge, findings, and solutions;
  • summary of LB 605policies to use probation rather than incarceration for people convicted of low-level offenses, and increase penalty thresholds for property offenses, enhance felony classifications, ensure post-release supervision for most people upon release from prison, and address victims' needs, and improve parole supervision to reduce recidivism;
  • looking ahead;
  • sustainability policies in LB 605;
  • and "Projected Impact of LB 605 on Nebraska's Prison Population" chart.