Nebraska prison overcrowding discussed

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ The Legislature's Judiciary Commission will meet with state corrections officials in the next few weeks to find a solution to Nebraska's overcrowded prisons.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports ( that Nebraska's nine prisons are at 145 percent of capacity. They were built to handle a total of 3,175 prisoners but currently have more than 4,600.

Sen. Brad Ashford, of Omaha, is chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He says Nebraska could be forced to build a new prison if it doesn't find a solution to the overcrowding. That could be a result of a lawsuit or an order from a federal judge.

Ashford says one reason for overcrowding is that the prisons have inmates who pose no threat to themselves or others and so should be in community-based services.

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