Despite recent upticks of assaults at Nebraska State Penitentiary, officer morale is improving

After a surge of assaults on officers and inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, the facility was placed on lock down until Friday.

Part of the problem has been an increase in contraband. These pictures sent to us from corrections.

As part of the lock down, extensive searches are underway in inmate cells. Nebraska correctional facilities have been in the spotlight in recent months for problems with staffing and inmates.

Matt Barrall of the Nebraska State Fraternal Order of Police spoke on behalf of Mike Chipman – president of correctional union Lodge 88 and says that things have been improving.

“The states of Nebraska, the governor, and Director Frakes have worked with the corrections officers union in the last six months morale has actually increased,” Barrall said.

Efforts have been made to recruit and retain correctional officers and pay them more. Staff fatigue is another problem, and more officers will help alleviate the workload and allow focus in other areas.

“As a corrections officers you really get to read groups and read behaviors, and so if you have more people being able to watch for those triggers and those incidents then they can be start before they even start,” Barrall said.

We reached out to the state department of corrections but did not hear back. Barrall says assaults at the state pen are up 200 per cent in the last two weeks but he’s not sure why the uptick.

But they are working on cracking down on contraband that’s exacerbating the problem.

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