- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska lawmaker on Wednesday introduced a measure meant to reduce recidivism and ease overcrowding in the state prison system by encouraging the use of supervised release and expanding electronic ankle monitoring, among other things.

In introducing the bill, Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha said no inmate should leave prison without a clear path to integrate back into society.

“I want the offenders to come out and live the rest of their lives as fruitfully as possible,” he said.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman told lawmakers in his State of the State speech that he’s open to working with lawmakers on prison reforms.

“The public safety of our citizens should be priority No. 1 and that should start with violent criminals being required to earn ‘good time,’” Heineman said.

Ashford’s bill would also make it so that offenders whose actions lead to them being segregated would no longer receive “good time” credit, meaning they wouldn’t be earning time off of their sentences for good behavior.

Ashford’s bill would also create a Nebraska Center for Justice Research to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The bill intends to appropriate $1 million per year to the center.

Ashford, who had a victory with a juvenile justice overhaul last year, is determined to see changes for the adult prison system as well.

“I can’t leave here without this being accomplished,” Ashford said.

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The bill is LB907

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