Jail Standards program is established under Chapter
83, Sections 4,124 - 4,134 of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska.
An eleven member Jail Standards Board appointed by
the Governor is responsible for the promulgation and enforcement of
minimum standards for the maintenance, operation, and construction of
adult and juvenile criminal detention facilities. The Board has
the authority to petition the district court for closure of facilities
failing to comply with the Standards. Staff support to the Board
is provided by the Jail Standards Division of the Nebraska Crime
Commission. The minimum jail standards have been in effect since
1980. The minimum
juvenile detention facility standards have been effective since 1993.
The primary responsibility of the Jail Standards Division is the
implementation and administration of the Jail Standards and Juvenile
Detention Standards program. Major activities related to this
1. Inspection and Enforcement. Staff conduct
annual inspections of each detention facility to monitor compliance
with the Standards. Written reports of such inspections are
prepared and submitted to the Jail Standards Board for review and
official action. Each of the state’s 72 active jail
facilities and 4 juvenile detention facilities receive an annual
inspection. The Jail Standards Board meets quarterly to review reports
and take action.
2. Technical Assistance. It has been the desire
of the Board to provide assistance, where possible, to assist detention
facilities in meeting Standards. Technical assistance has been
provided in the following areas:
(a) Facility Planning.
(c) Resource Development.
3. Data Collection. The Division collects
information on the characteristics and flow of inmates through local
detention facilities. The “Jail Inmate Records and Statistical
System (JIRS)”, the “Jail Admission Management Information Network
(JAMIN)” and the “Nebraska Criminal Justice Information System (NCJIS)”
provide an on-going database that is critical to both state master
planning and planning at the local facility level. For
communities planning construction of new detention facilities, this
data is essential in determining appropriate size and design
The Jail Standards Division attempts to improve conditions and
operations in local jails through implementation of Standards to lessen
the potential for successful litigation against local officials.
Inmate initiated litigation over the last thirty five years of the last
century resulted in the evolution of a well-defined body of
correctional case law by which jails and detention facilities are bound
to abide. With increasing frequency, inmates are successfully
challenging jail conditions and practices when they fall short of these
clearly established minima. The state, through this program, has
accepted the responsibility to monitor and regulate local detention
facilities to insure compliance with Standards written to reflect these
constitutional requirements. If the Board fails to adequately
carry out this responsibility, the state could be held liable as well.
Standards Training Bulletins
Organization and Functions