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Nebraska seeking inmate volunteers for free transfer to 'home state' prisons

Last weekend I saw the letter NDCS had sent to 601 people offering to try and transfer them out of state. (The text of the letter is in the LJS article.) I transcribed it and emailed it out to my father along with several questions that weren't answered in the letter. Through channels, he got it to JoAnne Young at the LJS and she investigated futher and broke this story.

The 2 main questions that she was able to get NDCS to answer were:

1. What if someone has programming?
2. If NE isn't accepting someone in return, are they paying the recieving states to house NE people?

The answer to 1 is that anyone with programming requirements would have to transfer back to NE to complete their programming before the parole board would release them. So if someone has programming requirements why would they even both, especially since transfering would probably end up delaying their parole.

The answer to 2 is that NE isn't accepting people in return and they are not paying the receiving states. So why would the receiving states agree to accept them? Of the 601 people that received the letter lets just assume 10 of them want to transfer to Iowa. At approximately $40,000/yr to incarcerate someone (it varies some from state to state) that would be $400,000/yr that Iowa would have to agree to spend for NE's benefit. Why would any state agree to that? I don't think many, if any, will.

Bottom line, it seems like it is more of a PR stunt that a serious attempt to decrease the overcrowding. NDCS can now say, "We tried," to the Legislature but I bet they won't publish the actual number of people whom they succeed in transfering out of state. That would prove that it was just for show.