Protecting communities, transforming lives
Prisons are often overlooked as part of government, but they play a key role in creating safe communities. For years, Nebraska underinvested in its prisons. During my administration, we have placed a renewed focus on managing them well for one simple reason: we want to keep people safe. To achieve this goal in my administration, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) has focused on improving successful reentry, developing our workforce, and building new prison beds.
Reentry services are critical because over 90 percent of the inmates housed in state prisons will return to the community after they complete their sentences. To prepare inmates to be a positive part of their community upon reentry, NDCS designs and delivers programs to connect inmates with job training and programs to enhance prosocial skills, such as anger management classes. Reentry involves both a responsibility to society to ensure public safety and an opportunity to help an individual successfully make a fresh start in life. Over the past few years, NDCS has changed the way it thinks about reentry. Building a reentry plan now begins when individuals first enter our corrections system, not when they are about to exit it. The agency assesses needs right away, so that we can begin to match inmates with the programming needed to reduce the risk to reoffend. This process gives those who enter NDCS facilities every opportunity to succeed upon release.
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