OMAHA – This week, two researchers from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have released a study examining the effectiveness of Nebraska’s good time law through an examination of data provided by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
In the study, authors Benjamin Steiner, Ph.D, and Calli Cain, a criminology and criminal justice Ph.D. student at UNO, found that while the policies of Nebraska’s good time law were properly implemented by prison staff, removing good time as a punishment for prison rule violations did not have an impact on an offender’s likelihood to subsequently violate prison rules, engage in violent conduct, or commit additional criminal offenses once released from prison.
Nebraska’s good-time law has come under scrutiny in recent years due to violent acts by recently released criminals like Nikko Jenkins.
While the study did not examine the overall benefits of providing earned good time to Nebraska inmates, it did show that losing good time had no effect on the likelihood of committing subsequent misconduct.
According to the study, there was a 74 percent chance of future misconduct for inmates who did not lose good time compared to a 73 percent chance of future misconduct for those who had lost good time. Additionally, there was a 9 percent higher likelihood that those who lost good time committed additional violent misconduct relative to inmates who did not lose good time.
The UNO researchers also looked at the effect of losing good time on whether inmates committed additional crimes after being released; with results showing that offenders who has lost good time had a 7 percent higher likelihood of being reincarcerated for a new offense compared to those who did not lose any good time.
According to the study, the likelihood of recidivism varied among offenders who had good time restored, with offenders who earned back good time being 13 percent more likely to be reincarcerated for a new offense compared to offenders who did not lose good time, whereas offenders who lost good time, but did not earn any time back, were 5 percent less likely to be reincarcerated for a new offense than offenders who did not lose good time. However, the authors of the study explain that the difference between the two categories is not significant enough to truly say one is more or less effective at reducing recidivism.
The report, which is publicly available on the Nebraska Center for Justice Research website, was sent to Nebraska lawmakers earlier this month.
For media requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.