Nebraska’s prison screw-up is much bigger than originally estimated: 873 inmates erroneously received reduced sentences over the past 20 years, state officials revealed Friday.
The fix will cost the state dearly: an estimated $50 million or more to house current prisoners for the 2,050 years just added to their collective sentences.In a state already trying to solve the problem of overcrowding because the prisons are 58% over capacity, now this.
When the Omaha World-Herald discovered that Nebraska Corrections had been miscalculating release dates for twenty years or so, the governor's first response was that those released too early would be "rounded up."
His plans have changed. Now the State Patrol is bringing in a couple dozen people who were released too early and would still be serving time if not for the calculation errors.
Those who were released long enough ago that their correct release date has already passed are not being "rounded up" to complete their sentences. The word is that they will be investigated to see if they committed further crimes after their early release and before their correctly-calculated release date. If they did commit more crimes, it's back to the hoosegow for them.
It's a mess. The Omaha World-Herald is doing a fine job of investigative journalism.
Another area ripe for investigation: When they discover that most of those released too early have not committed more crimes, will someone suggest that the miscalculated prison sentences appear to be quite long enough?