Searches Undertaken as Penitentiary Put on Lockdown

Sep 6, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Searches for weapons, drugs and other contraband have been undertaken during a lockdown at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.

Officials say the lockdown that began Wednesday morning was needed because of the increase in assaults on staffers and among inmates, as well as an increase in the use of synthetic marijuana, or K2.

Last month the state watchdog for correctional services said in a report that the penitentiary faces "alarming" conditions driven by staffing shortages, record overtime and inmates using synthetic drugs and contraband cellphones.

State prisons Director Scott Frakes says the lockdown is a safety measure, not a result of staffing problem. He says officials want to find out where the contraband is hidden and how it is being made or being smuggled inside prison walls.