Governor reacts to recent prison fire, lockdown

Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 06, 2016

A fire Monday night at the Lincoln Correctional Center and now questions about who set it, and why problems keep happening.  The incident comes after nine employees were assaulted by inmates last month.

At about 10pm Monday, the fire was reported at LCC.  Two inmates and a staff member were treated for possible smoke inhalation.  The inmates were taken to the hospital, and all are doing fine.  The Nebraska Department of Corrections is investigating the cause, but hasn't given any other details.

On Friday, the prison in Tecumseh was put on lockdown because inmates were possibly planning violent attacks on staff members.

The incidents continue to mount in the corrections system.

"I will let Director Frakes do the investigation on those before we do any speculation. I think it does highlight that we've got work to do in our correction system, we know that.  And Director Frakes is taking steps and he has over the course of the summer,” said Governor Pete Ricketts.  "We've got other steps we need to take with regards to management of that organization; issues we talked about with regard to compensation, training, and all those things need to be going when we try to keep our corrections officers safe."

Last week, the Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee grilled NDCS Director Scott Frakes over staffing issues and safety.

Members say the special committee (LR 34) should be meeting again in the next few weeks.