Corrections dept. budget proposal includes more staff, programming

The Corrections Department released their budget proposal for 2019-2020. It calls on the state to pay for more staff, more programming, more space and a new health electronic records system. 

Director Scott Frakes hopes to add 48 more protective staff in the next two years. He’d hire 18 corporals and 6 sergeants in 2019 and then 18 more corporals and 6  more sergeants in 2020. He’d also hire four more case managers. 

The cost of those positions, and the staffing that’s already in place make up the majority of the $221.4 million Frakes is seeking in 2019 and $229. 9 in 2020. This year’s budget is $215.4 million. 

Anther big ask in the budget is an additional $15.2 million dollars to build an expansion at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. This would add space to the dining, food preparation and programming areas. The governor’s budget already has budgeted for an addition of a 100-bed dormitory to the facility. 

Frakes also has a goal to implement an electronic health record system that will cost $1.35 million. The budget said this will make it easier to transfer health records, make the healthcare workers more efficient and reduce errors.

Finally, Frakes also wants $250,000 more to increase programming for parole eligible inmates. 

“The primary role of corrections systems is public safety,” Frakes said in a release. “We work to provide the right opportunities to the right people at the right time. To assess our success when it comes to serving incarcerated people, we focus on these outcomes: safety; increased programming; reentry success; and improving quality of life.” 

The release also details several goals Frakes has that are in line with that mission statement. 

– Reduce workplace injuries by 50% 

– Reduce agency turnover to 18% 

– Provide programming prior to parole eligibility 100% of the time 

– Develop and establish 10 more mission-based housing units 

– Implement electronic health records 

– Prepare individuals to transition through community custody prior to release


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