State Lawmakers Advance Prison Reform Bills

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Supporters of proposed changes to Nebraska's prison system argue that providing more services to inmates can help reduce recidivism and lead to a drop in the state's prison population.

Lawmakers Wednesday advanced a bill designed to address overcrowding in the state's prison system. The bill faces two more votes in front of the Legislature.

Nebraska's prisons were at 156 percent of their capacity as of February 28th.

The bill would increase funding for vocational training, mental health and substance abuse services.

Lawmakers also advanced a bill that would study the creation of a facility in Hastings designed to serve mentally ill inmates and to provide drug and alcohol treatment. That bill also faces two more votes in front of the Legislature.

The bills are LB907 and LB999.

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