Public policy and advocacy are integral to reducing the population of incarcerated individuals and eliminating the barriers people endure upon returning home after incarceration that fuel these high rates. RISE holds a unique position to be a major partner in progressing advocacy and policy in Nebraska that will impact individuals that have experienced its criminal justice system.
RISE’s public policy work will:
- Create opportunities for system impacted people to have their concerns and ideas voiced and heard during the legislative process
- Bring together people impacted by the system, organizations, and other individuals to create a coalition to work in solidarity to advocate for changes in the Nebraska criminal justice landscape and the economic and social empowerment of people impacted by the system.
- Lobby successfully for policy and legislative changes at all levels of government that impact the daily lives of people impacted by the system and their families for economic and social outcomes that include employment, housing, transportation, education, living conditions and civic participation.
- Have the resources, skills, training and built capacity to maintain policy and advocacy efforts.
RISE’s public policy goals are:
- Decreased incarcerated population in Nebraska’s correctional facilities at the state and county levels with limited entry points into the system and more effective and efficient systems for post-release supervision, parole, community corrections/work-release and reentry efforts.
- Improved conditions while incarcerated that include living situations, increased access to needed programming and mental and behavioral healthcare.
- Equitable economic and social progress for people directly impacted by the system and their families to ensure access to basic needs, opportunities, and resources that will reduce barriers to reach their full potential and increase the quality of their lives.
Upcoming Events & Articles
The cash bail system continues to perpetuate cycles of poverty and incarceration. The ability of a person to afford the amount set to be released does not predict whether a person will appear for their court date or if they are a risk to public safety. It results in people who do not have disposable income spending days to months in jail that further impacts their livelihood.
As America is dealing with COVID-19, civil unrest and a great political division, we would be remiss to not mention that 2020 is an historical election year. Elections are important especially because the elected officials’ duties will include enacting policies that affect people who are currently and formerly incarcerated.
In Nebraska, people who were arrested, awaiting trial, convicted of or on probation for a misdemeanor can vote!