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Nebraska jail director seeks solutions to largest population

Douglas County Department of Corrections investigating in-custody death
Posted at 3:24 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 16:24:59-04

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska county jail’s population is larger than ever, and its director is asking for help from criminal justice agencies to reduce the number of inmates.

The Omaha-World Herald last week obtained a letter through an open records request that Douglas County Corrections Director Michael Myers sent to the county board in July. Myers said the population was at 1,390, surpassing the understaffed jail’s working capacity of 1,300.

By Friday, 1,327 people were in the jail, including 55 inmates sleeping on plastic bunks on the gym floor.

Myers sent the letter to local judges, a police chief, the county sheriff and criminal justice leaders.

He suggested that authorities should consider citing and releasing people suspected of nonviolent offenses instead of jailing them or putting more people on supervised pretrial release.