New safety measures coming to Nebraska's Correctional Institutio - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

New safety measures coming to Nebraska's Correctional Institutions

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Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Some new safety measures are to be implemented soon at Nebraska's correctional institutions...

Director Scott Frakes said in a release Friday that corrections employees are doing a dangerous job, and more needs to be done to keep them safe.

The regulations include increasing searches, restrictions, staff equipment, inmate programming and consequences.

Frakes said, "we are dealing with an inmate population that is comfortable using violence to get what they want. Our mission to keep people safe starts with the dedicated team at NDCS."

He points to a recent assault at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.

But there have been many incidents at that prison this year.

Like a March riot that left two dead.

"It's important that we take a very hard look at what happened and how it happened and tried to make improvements from there,” Brad Hansen, Tecumseh Prison Warden said after the incident.

Employees, too have said they feel unsafe.

After a 2016 employee rally, Frakes said he would listen to their concerns.

"I'm going to work to make the changes that are needed to keep you safe and to make this system work the way it's supposed to work,” Frakes said.

The release says inmates who want to hurt people will always try to find a way.

That's why these new policies were created.

The statement goes on to say it will empower team members, improve their training and add security.

While also holding inmates accountable for their actions, and deter violent behavior.

The release says NDCS will keep looking for the best way to manage their inmates,

Saying that just because an inmate is behind bars doesn't mean they won't commit a new offense.

Here's a full list of the proactive measures: 

• Searches – increased searches of housing units, cells, common areas, kitchen workers and industries workers prevents drug-induced violence and access to weapons.

• Restrictions – removal of padlocks from inmate property; potentially flammable items from inmate canteen, and batteries from restrictive housing.

• Staff Equipment – radios with ear buds, body cameras in certain areas; increased the potency of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) staff carry for self-protection and use to end an assault or other dangerous behavior.

• Programming – increasing the amount and frequency of programming staff members deliver to inmates leads to changes in thinking and behavior. Clinical treatment, such as the Violence Reduction Program (VRP) and evidence-based programs, such as Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) and Thinking for a Change (T4C), are programs that target violence and criminal thinking.

• Centralized Intelligence Team – the efforts of this team have been integral to identifying the most violent and disruptive of our population, as well as the individuals that direct others to commit violence.

• Close Management Unit – developed a close management unit at TSCI and NSP to better manage our high risk population. The majority of the violent behavior is coming from a small percentage of the inmates. These close management units provide a secure transition process for inmates engaging in or orchestrating violence.

• Consequences & Accountability – facilities have posted notices throughout housing units that it is a felony to assault a staff member. The agency investigates all staff assaults and refers them to local county attorney for prosecution. The agency issues internal disciplinary action, including loss of good time. Inmates committing violent acts are removed from general population and placed in restrictive housing. NDCS is always working to identify new deterrents as well as leverage programming to change and minimize criminal thinking and behavior.

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