Nebraska’s oldest prison could house lower-risk inmates

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) — The director of Nebraska’s prison system has unveiled plans to convert the state’s oldest prison into a minimum-security facility, but he says the plan would only work if lawmakers agree to build a separate, $230 million prison for higher-risk inmates.

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes says the proposal to overhaul the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln is part of a larger effort to ease overcrowding in the state prisons.

Some lawmakers have questioned the costs.

The penitentiary in Lincoln is the state’s oldest prison, dating back to 1869, and it’s nearing the end of its useful life.

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