State to review Inmate Detail Release Program - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

State to review Inmate Detail Release Program

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By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

A lot of questions are being raised after Thursday afternoon's events. Community Corrections officials said they'll review their policies and make necessary changes to the program.

Juan Ramirez, 33, is part of the state's Inmate Work Detail program, a program that looks to prepare prisoners to rejoin society.

Deputy Director, Larry Wayne, said they have very few problems with the program, but Ramirez escaped a vehicle taking him back to the corrections center on Thursday.

"The safety precautions are pretty much the same as what you or I would take by law," Wayne said. "Each inmate is restrained with a seatbelt, lap and shoulder harness."

He said there were plans to remove Ramirez from the program after he was cited for a burglary. It happened on Wednesday while he was at his work detail in Otoe County, raising questions on how he was able to leave his work site.

Wayne said a supervisor takes a crew of two to nine inmates out for their detail. He said the supervision is intermittent.

"The supervisor generally checks on their people periodically during the day as they're out working together," he said.

Community Corrections didn't know about the burglary until Thursday when Ramirez was cited. Wayne said Ramirez must have left and returned before the supervisor noticed.

"When whatever it is that alleged to have (happened), he was not under direct sight observation," Wayne said.

He said after Thursday's events, the Work Detail Program will be reviewed.

"We'll look at whatever else we can do to improve the program and protect the public more effectively," Wayne said.

Ramirez was scheduled to be paroled next month. He's serving a 10 to 15 year sentence for possession of a stolen firearm and burglary. Officials said his parole is now unlikely.

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