This presentation introduces the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and the justice reinvestment process, provides an overview of criminal justice data trends in Nebraska, and discusses the guiding principles behind “what works” to reduce recidivism.
Between FY2003 and FY2013, Nebraska’s prison population climbed 20 percent, while corrections spending increased 34 percent. In addition, about one-third of people released from prison in FY2013 reentered the community without any supervision. Nebraska’s prisons are currently operating at 155 percent of capacity and the prison population is projected to grow an additional 12 percent by FY2023.
To address these challenges, Governor Dave Heineman, Chief Justice Michael Heavican, and Speaker Greg Adams, requested intensive technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center using a justice reinvestment approach. In collaboration with the Justice Reinvestment Working Group—which includes designees from all three branches of government, policymakers, and state and local criminal justice system stakeholders—CSG Justice Center staff will collect and analyze data and engage stakeholders from across the criminal justice system.
The Working Group will review the analyses and develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. A policy framework will be available for the legislature’s consideration by early 2015.
This overview highlights recent criminal justice trends in Nebraska that the Justice Reinvestment Working Group will be exploring in coming months as part of the state’s justice reinvestment effort.