Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

$240 Million Prison Project Draws Criticism

Play

Thursday, January 20, 2022   

Critics of Gov. Pete Ricketts' call for the Nebraska Legislature to fund a new prison argue the money would be better invested in programs with proven track records for reducing crime and preventing people from entering the criminal-justice system.

Fran Kaye, a retired professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a 25-year prison volunteer, said mental-health programs, addiction treatment and job-training programs can reduce crime and make communities safer.

"Prisons are really kind of an awful idea, when you come to think about it," Kaye remarked. "I mean, you don't want to be in a position where you're punishing people after they've done something wrong. You don't want them to do wrong in the first place."

Supporters say the proposed 1,500-bed prison, listed as a $240 million line item in an appropriations bill, will create jobs and is necessary to address the state's overcrowded corrections population.

Kaye cites research showing Nebraska can end overcrowding by limiting the use of stacked sentencing and getting more people back into communities through diversion programs and parole.

She added Nebraska is not a wealthy state, and only developers will benefit if lawmakers approve a project with a quarter-billion-dollar price tag.

"You get as much money for building a preschool as you do for building a prison," Kaye pointed out. "Why don't we build more treatment centers? You get as much money for building a treatment center as you do for a prison. Why don't we build more job-training centers?"

Pointing to the state's high recidivism rate, Kaye said Nebraska has done a poor job helping people who have served time heal and re-enter society as contributing community members. She believes building another facility will not make those communities safer, in part because prisons create an environment known to lead to violent behavior.

"Fear, shame, isolation, exposure to violence, powerlessness," Kaye outlined. "What do prisons create? Why in the world would we spend all that money on an institution that is best at creating violence, and is lousy at healing?"


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021