Flatwater Free Press to host forum on Nebraska's Corrections Department

Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 1:00pm

The Flatwater Free Press and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications are sponsoring “Nebraska’s Prisons at a Crossroads”, a forum to discuss Nebraska’s Corrections Department on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the Swanson Auditorium of the Nebraska Union.

“We are bringing together academics, professionals and advocates to discuss important state-wide and national issues, like prison reform,” said Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. “We’re also giving students an opportunity to engage with these individuals and learn from their experiences.”

Panelists will speak on their expertise in prison reform and their experiences with the Nebraska prison system. The panel will be moderated by the editor of the Flatwater Free Press, Matthew Hansen and reporter Natalia Alamdari who has spent a year reporting on the most crowded prisons in the nation.

After short presentations from each panelist, participants will ask questions and engage in a moderated discussion. Panelists include:

Mark Foxall, Community Service Associate, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Mark Foxall

Foxall joined the staff at the Douglas County Department of Corrections in 2000 and began serving as their director in 2011, a post he held until his retirement in 2018. Prior to that, he served as a police officer with the Omaha Police Department and as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He has won numerous awards including an Excellence in Public Service award from the University of Nebraska Omaha; a Director's Award for Outstanding Contributions in Law Enforcement from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys, Department of Justice; and the Administrative Award of Merit, American Correctional Association, Douglas County Department of Corrections.

Jasmine Harris, Director of Policy and Public Advocacy, RISE

Jasmine Harris

At RISE, Jasmine Harris’s overall goal is to help reduce the population of incarcerated individuals and eliminate the barriers people endure upon returning home after incarceration in Nebraska. RISE is the largest nonprofit organization in Nebraska focused solely on helping the incarcerated prepare for reentering society. As the Director of Policy and Public Advocacy, Jasmine builds relationships with partners, policymakers and community members across Nebraska. Previously, Jasmine served as Co-Founder/CEO of WayMaker, LLC, an organization that motivates women and girls to overcome setbacks from being involved in the criminal justice system. She also served as a Health Educator at Creighton University and as Civic Engagement Committee Chair for the Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals, where she focused on advocacy and awareness around criminal justice issues.

Doug Koebernick, Inspector General of the Nebraska Correctional System

Doug Koebernick

As the Inspector General of the Nebraska Correctional System, Doug Koebernick identifies and examines systemic issues of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. He and his team also investigate incidents resulting in death or serious injury that occur within the Nebraska correctional system. The Office of the Inspector General was established in 2015 by the Nebraska Legislature to provide increased accountability and oversight of the Nebraska correctional system.

Sen. Terrell McKinney, District 11

Sen. Terrell McKinney

Sen. Terrell McKinney was elected to the Nebraska legislature as the District 11 senator in 2020. He is a graduate of Omaha North High Magnet School, 2008; Maryville University (B.S. in sports business management), 2014 and Midland University (M.B.A.), 2018. He is currently attending Creighton University School of Law. Formerly, he was the community organizer and hunger action advocate for Nebraska Appleseed. He is a board member for Black Men United and Policy Research Innovation. He’s the CD2 representative for the Nebraska Democratic Black Caucus and the finance chair for Black Agenda Alliance.

Carla Walker, Formerly incarcerated military veteran and RISE Board Ambassador

Carla Walker

Carla is a military veteran who served a 15-20 prison sentence in York and at Lincoln's Work Release Center. She is an advocate for civilian and Justice Impacted veterans. Carla connects peers to various resources to encourage successful reentry opportunities.

“We’re really excited about this panel,” Executive Director of the Nebraska Journalism Trust, Matt Wynn said. “These panelists are the who's who of movers and shakers for whatever comes next for Nebraska’s prison system.”

The forum was organized by the Flatwater Free Press and The College of Journalism and Mass Communications. It is free and open to the public. View the livestream on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/tbF7ta2Iovg

 Contact: Kelli Boling, 402-472-3528, kelli.boling@unl.edu

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