Nebraska sets stage for new prison, stops short of approval

Prison cell
Posted at 10:15 AM, Apr 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 11:15:39-04

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have set the stage for a new, $230 million prison even as other states close theirs, but they stopped short of fully endorsing the idea.

Lawmakers gave first-round approval to $14.9 million in state funding that would allow the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to start designing and planning for a prison to house 1,512 inmates and relieve chronic overcrowding.

The measure includes $18 million to add bed space for inmates who are elderly, have mental health issues and those with special needs.

The Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee agreed to set aside $115 million — half of the new prison’s cost — but members held off on approving the money until they know more about their options.

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