Nebraska senator says state prison crowding likely to get worse

Nebraska News

In this Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, photo a sign for the Nebraska State Penitentiary is seen behind razor wire in Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska officials are making an aggressive new push to remove contraband from the state’s largest prisons, but the task is more difficult than it seems. Nebraska’s crackdown is the latest example of states trying to clamp down on drugs, weapons and cellphones. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A key state lawmaker says Nebraska’s severe prison overcrowding is only going to get worse over the next few years if state officials don’t take more aggressive steps to address the problem.

Sen. Steve Lathrop, of Omaha, told a legislative committee Wednesday that the state’s prison population is projected to grow so fast that it will outpace the new beds that corrections officials are adding to try to ease pressure on their facilities.

Lathrop made the remarks as he proposed a new, $52 million Omaha community corrections facility to members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

Prison officials argue that the project wouldn’t help.

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