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Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
Nebraska employs both indeterminate sentencing (for offenders convicted of serious felonies) and determinatesentencing (for offenders convicted of relatively less serious felonies and misdemeanors). The state does nothave a sentencing commission or sentencing guidelines. Parole in Nebraska was established in 1893 with theGovernor possessing the sole power to parole. Nebraska's Board of Parole has been operating since 1968 as an independent constitutional agency.
Environmental Working Group;
As the southern Great Plains get hotter and drier, is federal policy that encourages farmers not to adapt to climate change leading to another Dust Bowl?
That's the troubling question raised by a new EWG report that shows how a provision in the federal crop insurance program provides a strong financial incentive for growers to plant the same crops in the same way, year in and year out, regardless of changing climate conditions. What's worse, this program is focused on the same southern Great Plains counties hit hardest by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.
The federal crop insurance program guarantees farmers' earnings from their crops won't fall below a percentage of their usual income. The percentage is set based on a multi-year average of a farmer's actual crop yields. Averaging good and bad years grounds the program in reality.
But a provision called the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion – snuck into the 2014 Farm Bill during conference negotiations – allows growers to drop bad years from their average crop yield calculations. The government simply pretends these bad years didn't happen. In some cases, more than 15 bad years can be thrown out when calculating the average yield, resulting in artificially inflated insurance payouts.
It makes sense for crop insurance to give growers a break if they're occasionally hit by one or two bad years, but keeping growers on a treadmill of failed crops and insurance payouts is foolish. Helping farmers adapt to the new weather conditions would be considerably better, and was exactly what helped growers survive the Dust Bowl and return to productivity.
The southern Great Plains are getting hotter and drier. Drought has been common over the last 10 years and forecasts show the number of days above 100 degrees quadrupling by 2050. Implementing conservation practices to adapt to changing climate conditions is vital for growers who want to stay in business.
Some, but not enough, growers are already adopting conservation techniques in this region. Savings from ending the misguided yield exclusion policy could be used to help more growers change the way they farm to face the challenges posed by a changing climate.
Chicago Council on Global Affairs;
This report focuses how immigrants have helped offset native-born population loss and revitalized an aging workforce by examining 46 Midwestern metro areas as a refresh of a similar study published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2014. Metro areas are a useful barometer by which to measure the impact of immigration because the economies of central cities and their suburbs are tightly connected and because large immigrant communities are found in both central cities and suburbs of metro areas. Also, the extent to which immigration matters to metro-area economies heightens the importance of immigration as an issue and raises the stakes for immigration reform.
Vera Institute of Justice;
Police frequently encounter youth running away from home, violating curfew, skipping school, and chronically disobeying adults—misbehavior that can often stem from family conflict and that do not require justice involvement. When alternatives are not available, however, these behaviors can lead to arrests or detention. Families dealing with difficult youth behavior often unwittingly send their youth into the justice system by calling the police because they feel they have nowhere to turn for help. For police, encountering these kinds of situations can be frustrating because they feel limited to suboptimal choices: either ignoring the problem behavior or criminalizing it.This brief explores the creative, collaborative, and community-focused work being done in Nevada, Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, and Oregon to find productive responses to youth "acting out." The juvenile assessment resource centers, crisis response centers, and crisis intervention teams in these jurisdictions address the needs of youth and connect families to resources and services without the need for juvenile justice involvement.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
Women's Fund of Greater Omaha;
Human trafficking is the umbrella term that encompasses both the exploitation of individuals for labor as well as exploitation for commercial gain through sex. Acts of commercial sex with anyone under the age of 18 is de facto sex trafficking. In 2015 we conducted a state-wide survey to determine the services landscape in Nebraska. We published our findings in the Human Trafficking in Nebraska Report, which was presented at the LR186 hearing.
Violence Policy Center;
The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities.
This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2012 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2012 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.
It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and
degree of detail in the information submitted.
ACLU of Nebraska;
Every year since Nebraska began collecting racial profiling data in 2002, the data has shown there is a problem. This graphic summarizes some of the most disturbing findings from the 2013 data provided by law enforcement agencies around the state.
ACLU of Nebraska;
Tasers release 50,000 volts of electricity that jolt the body's central nervous system. While often classified as a "less-lethal" weapon, Amnesty International reports that there have been over 540 Taser-related deaths in the United States in the past thirteen years.
ACLU of Nebraska;
The report reviewed data collected by the Nebraska Crime Commission. The ACLU's analysis of the data found that "profiling in Nebraska traffic stops disproportionately and negatively affects communities of colors." The ACLU report focuses on three findings: 1) People of color are more likely to be pulled over. 2) People of color are more likely to be arrested: a white driver has a 1 in 48 chance of being arrested compared to a 1 in 13 chance for drivers of color. The data showed that there was not a significant difference in the actual offenses committed by the drivers. 3) People of color are more likely to be subjected to searches.
American Mental Health Counselors Association;
This comprehensive study shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state's antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative.
Women's Fund of Greater Omaha;
Women are consistently more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, according to a 2013 study by the Women's Fund of Omaha on "How Women Are Doing in Omaha." The report reveals that 11% of the population reported income below the poverty level, and women accounted for 57% of this total. The poverty rate for African Americans was nearly four times that of white respondents.