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State sued for humanitarian crisis in prisons

Nebraska residents who may have been arrested and charged with a crime or their loved ones have many things to be concerned about. While certainly understanding the defense process and the potential penalties that may be associated with their charges, there are potentially other problems that they might not think of. If they are eventually sentenced to some time in jail, people should be aware that there are known problems in many of the state's prison facilities.

For some time now, reports suggest that the Nebraksa prison system has had far more inmates in it than it should have per its stated capacity limits. That, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, is only one of many problems that plagues the system and puts prisoners on the front line of what it is calling a humanitarian crisis. The problem has gotten so bad that the ACLU recently filed a class-action lawsuit against two state agencies and three individuals.

The agencies named as defendants are the Nebraska Board of Parole and the Nebraska Board of Corrections. In addition to overcrowding, the lawsuit alleges that the state has failed to provide accurate medical or health care to multiple residents in prisons. In some situations the ACLU asserts that prisoners have been injured or even died due to the neglect. It also states that people who work in the prisons are at risk due to the poor conditions.

After a criminal arrest, talking to an attorney may help people not only understand the charges they face but how they might advocate for appropriate, humane care of their needs during the process.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star, "ACLU files lawsuit against state over prison conditions," JoAnne Young, Aug. 16, 2017

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