- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A national group has agreed to work with Nebraska corrections officials to safely reduce the number of prisoners in segregation.

The Department of Correctional Services said Tuesday it was selected to participate in an initiative led by the Vera Institute of Justice.

Nebraska is one of five states that will receive technical assistance to analyze its use of segregated housing for inmates. The review will include recommendations by the Vera Institute, a national nonprofit.

Corrections director Scott Frakes says the efforts will ensure Nebraska’s reforms are focused, effective and research-based.

Segregation is supposed to be used to isolate inmates who are deemed threats. But corrections officials say the department has increasingly used it to punish inmates, protect the vulnerable or temporary house those who are awaiting a transfer.

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