Gov. Pillen Joins NDCS Dir. Jeffreys in Announcing New Prison Location
Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen joined Director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) Rob Jeffreys in announcing the location of the state’s new 1,512-bed facility. The 305-acre property is located northeast of Lincoln near 112th and Adams.
“This will be a new state of the art multi-custody facility,” said Gov. Pillen. “It will provide increased safety and security for those who live and work there. This investment ensures public safety as well.”
Upon presentation of his budget in January, Gov. Pillen urged lawmakers to fully fund the $350 million facility. Approval was given for $96 million plus $240 million that had been set aside by the Legislature in 2022, without the requisite spending authority. Lawmakers that year did approve a $15 million appropriation for selecting sites and placing options on property, as well as drafting the initial design.
The prison will replace the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP), which is the oldest facility in the state’s prison system. The campus dates back more than 150 years, parts of which have been reconstructed and modified over time to keep it viable.
The age and configuration of the NSP campus have made it extremely difficult to operate as a modern correctional facility. Continuing to make modifications is no longer practical. In recent years, the facility has experienced broken water pipes. One break led to the complete closure of a housing unit, and relocation of the population living there.
“As a result of the many changes over the years, NSP faces challenges in meeting the agency’s core mission of keeping people safe,” said Jeffreys. “The new facility will provide a safer environment for the staff, and it will enhance our ability to provide programs, clinical treatment, education and employment opportunities in a way that facilitates reentry into the community.”
Both Gov. Pillen and Dir. Jeffreys noted that a key factor in choosing the Lincoln site was the proximity to a stable and plentiful workforce.
“Those who work at NSP now will continue their work at the new facility. It’s location on the northeast edge of Lincoln gives it good access to I-80 and Highway 6, which will make it an easy drive from Waverly, Gretna and Omaha,” said Gov. Pillen.
“Additionally, we want to be mindful of the accessibility for family members, who have loved ones inside the facility,” said Dir. Jeffreys. “This will be a convenient location for regular visiting and for volunteers who work with the population.”
Construction of the new facility is slated to begin in the fall of 2024.