- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - The future of a planned halfway house for federal prisoners under construction in Kearney remains uncertain because a similar facility in Hastings objected.

The Kearney Hub reports (https://bit.ly/1Du17tT ) the federal Bureau of Prisons is evaluating which of the two facilities to contract with going forward. There will only be one such facility in south-central Nebraska.

The 48-bed facility Dismas is building was designed to house federal prisoners who have committed nonviolent crimes that are primarily related to substance abuse. The center would offer supervision and support for inmates nearing release.

Dismas’ vice president Steve Vice recently visited the Kearney facility. The exterior is essentially done except for landscaping. Vice said the interior should be completed in the coming weeks.

“We’re really happy with the outcome of the facility,” Vice said.

But the Bristol Station re-entry facility for federal prisoners is already being operated in Hastings by Western Alternative Corrections.

After Dismas Charities, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, publicized its plans for a new halfway house in Kearney, the operators of the Hastings facility objected in September.

Then the federal government rescinded its contract award to Dismas and began re-evaluating the plan. Dismas operates residential re-entry centers in 13 U.S. states.

Both companies are waiting to hear federal officials’ decision.

Until the issue is decided, the Bristol Station facility is operating under temporary extensions on a contract that expired last February. That contract can be extended through the end of October 2015.

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Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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