Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

Court Denies Class Certification in Prison Lawsuit

In 2017, national ACLU lawyers filed suit in U.S. District Court against the State on behalf of 11 inmates incarcerated at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The ACLU asked that the Court promote their wide-ranging public-policy preferences and oversee a significant portion of the operation of Nebraska’s prisons. Similar to lawsuits filed by the ACLU against other states, they requested the Court apply the claims asserted on behalf of the 11 inmates to a larger class to include all inmates incarcerated in Nebraska’s prisons. As seen in other states, such a request, if granted, dramatically increases the cost of litigation.

The Attorney General is pleased that today the Court denied the inmates’ request to pursue their policy preferences on a class wide basis. As the Court ably stated, “The Nebraska prison system is operated by the State of Nebraska, not the federal government, and certainly not by the federal courts.” The State looks forward to continuing the mission of keeping people safe while providing opportunities for inmates to change their lives for the better.