Criminal defense cases cover both criminal suits — charges brought by the government to punish an individual for an act classified as a crime — and civil suits — claims brought by individuals or organizations as a dispute over rights and duties.
Yesterday, attorneys from the ACLU, along with the help of other counsel, filed a class action lawsuit against the Nebraska Department of Corrections because of problems with prison conditions and overcrowding. Overcrowding has been an ongoing problem not only in the Nebraska prison system but also in Nebraska county jails across the state. Currently, many jails are operating at above capacity, and some counties have even been forced to outsource the housing of their inmates. It’s not uncommon for defendants awaiting trial in Nebraska state court to be housed 2-3 hours from the county where their criminal charges are pending, making direct contact with criminal defense counsel difficult and resulting in wasted resources and increased safety risks. Hopefully, at the very least, the recent lawsuit filed against the Nebraska Department of Corrections will help to raise awareness of the current problems in our prisons and jails across the state. Click on the link below to be redirected to the ACLU’s website where there is more information on the lawsuit, including a copy of the complaint filed with the court.