83-4,114. Disciplinary restrictions and punishment; degree; solitary confinement prohibited; annual report; contents; long-term restrictive housing work group; established; members; meetings; director; duties; termination.

(1) There shall be no corporal punishment or disciplinary restrictions on diet.

(2) Disciplinary restrictions on clothing, bedding, mail, visitations, use of toilets, washbowls, or scheduled showers shall be imposed only for abuse of such privilege or facility and only as authorized by written directives, guidance documents, and operational manuals.

(3) No person shall be placed in solitary confinement.

(4) The director shall issue an annual report on or before September 15 to the Governor and the Clerk of the Legislature. The report to the Clerk of the Legislature shall be issued electronically. For all inmates who were held in restrictive housing during the prior year, the report shall contain the race, gender, age, and length of time each inmate has continuously been held in restrictive housing. Prior to releasing the report, the director shall meet with the long-term restrictive housing work group to share the contents of the report. The report shall also contain:

(a) The number of inmates held in restrictive housing;

(b) The reason or reasons each inmate was held in restrictive housing;

(c) The number of inmates held in restrictive housing who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or behavioral disorder and the type of mental illness or behavioral disorder by inmate;

(d) The number of inmates who were released from restrictive housing directly to parole or into the general public and the reason for such release;

(e) The number of inmates who were placed in restrictive housing for his or her own safety and the underlying circumstances for each placement;

(f) To the extent reasonably ascertainable, comparable statistics for the nation and each of the states that border Nebraska pertaining to subdivisions (4)(a) through (e) of this section; and

(g) The mean and median length of time for all inmates held in restrictive housing.

(5)(a) There is hereby established within the department a long-term restrictive housing work group. The work group shall consist of one member of the Judiciary Committee of the Legislature appointed by the Executive Board of the Legislative Council who shall be a nonvoting, ex officio member and the following voting members:

(i) The director and all deputy directors who have oversight over inmate health services or correctional facilities. The director or his or her designee shall serve as the chairperson of the work group;

(ii) The behavioral health administrator within the department;

(iii) Two employees of the department who currently work with inmates held in restrictive housing as designated by the director;

(iv) Additional department staff as designated by the director; and

(v) Six members appointed by the Governor who have demonstrated an interest in correctional issues. Of these members at least one shall be an individual who was previously incarcerated in Nebraska's correctional system. The remaining members shall consist of individuals who are mental health professionals, have been employed in a restrictive housing unit in a correctional facility, have advocated for the rights of incarcerated individuals, or have otherwise been engaged in activities related to Nebraska's correctional system.

(b) The work group shall advise the department on policies and procedures related to the proper treatment and care of offenders in long-term restrictive housing.

(c) The director shall convene the work group's first meeting no later than September 15, 2015, and the work group shall meet at least semiannually thereafter. The chairperson shall schedule and convene the work group's meetings.

(d) The director shall provide the work group with quarterly updates on the department's policies related to the work group's subject matter and with any other information related to long-term restrictive housing that is requested by members of the work group.

(e) The work group shall terminate on December 31, 2021.

Source:Laws 1976, LB 275, § 6; Laws 2015, LB598, § 33; Laws 2016, LB1094, § 43; Laws 2019, LB686, § 14.
Operative Date: September 1, 2019

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