Audit blasts Nebraska prison oversight, communication

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A new state audit says poor oversight and communication have contributed to financial problems in Nebraska’s prison system.

The report released Monday says the Department of Correctional Services paid nearly 59,000 hours of unnecessary overtime between July 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2014, totaling more than $1 million.

It also faults the department for overpaying nearly $370,000 because it lacked procedures to ensure that inmate medical claims from off-site providers were proper.

Nebraska’s prison system has faced scrutiny because of chronic overcrowding, prison sentences that were miscalculated and a scandal involving the release of Nikko Jenkins, an inmate who later killed four people in Omaha.

The report says the problems occurred before the current corrections director, Scott Frakes, was appointed to his job.

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