Nebraska's Law on Prison Breaking and Associated Punishments
Nebraska has laid down a statute that describes the procedure resorted to when a person in police custody escapes or attempts to escape. According to legislation given under Chapter 28, Section 912, a person is considered to have escaped if they have removed themselves from official detention without prior notice. In some cases, a person in custody fails to return to custody after a sanctioned leave. In which case, the concerned party is said to have escaped and can be penalized.
Custody includes some kind of physical restraint or detention of a person with an intention to arrest him or her under some charge. The detained person is informed that they are under some legal restraint and now under the power of an officer even if they are not physically being controlled.
The arrest, custody, detention or transportation to a facility, of a convicted person amounts to official detention. When a person is under the charge for the purposes of law enforcement, and they break out of prison by unlawful means, it amounts to escape. In which case, they can be further penalized by increasing their duration of imprisonment.
It is considered an escape if the person serving a sentence flees from the premises while he is in the process of being deported to another facility under the supervision of the police. It also amounts to escape, if the person escapes from the jail during the period of the official probe when his charge is not yet proven. A person on a work release is still under custody and is not sanctioned to move away. Any attempt to do so amounts to escape.
Exceptions to Prison Break Law
If an individual escapes under supervision during probation or parole, he cannot be penalized under the prison break law. Also if a person has availed bail and escapes when he has been detained for a brief period prior to it, he cannot be punished.
Punishments based on Severity of Crime
The offender is punished according to the circumstances of the escape. Also, the concerned official who has intentionally or unintentionally facilitated the escape of the offender can also be penalized.
Nebraska laws have classified felonies or serious crimes in ten classes. The classes are further sub-categorized and have specific penalties for each. Classes are in decreasing order of seriousness; Class I being the most serious and Class IV felony, the least.
An official who facilitates escape for a person in custody, unknowingly or negligently, can be penalized under Class IV felony. If the official has not performed his function properly which facilitated the detainee’s escape, the official is convicted under Class IV felony. This entails imprisonment up to two years or a fine of 10,000 dollars. If the detainee escaped without damage to person or property in the premises, he is convicted under Class IV felony.
In case the detainee was a legal offender or was held under custody for a specific legal charge, his escape is more serious and comes under Class III felony. Under this, the offender is jailed for a maximum period of four years or imposed a fine of 25,000 dollars. A public servant, who has deliberately facilitated the escape from a detention arena, can also be convicted under a Class III felony.
If the escapee uses force or resorts to violence or use of weapons while affecting the escape, his offense is regarded as more serious and convicted as Class II A felony. He can receive maximum imprisonment of twenty years.
In case the punishment levied is imprisonment, it is always followed by a supervision period, post-release.