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(House Roll No. 152.)
[Introduced by Messrs. Dalbey, Richmond and Dau.]
AN ACT relating to persons sentenced for the commission of certain offenses, providing that such persons shall perform labor and providing for the making of rules and regulations for the care and welfare of said persons. Providing for the issuing of bonds to cover the expense involved. Providing duties for certain county officials in connection therewith. Providing for the management of the said persons and for any property used for the purpose of this act. Providing for preventing the escape of such persons and providing penalties for violation of this act, and to repeal Chap. 180 of the laws of Nebraska for 1915.
Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Nebraska:
Section. 1. County work house-county acquire. There is hereby established in each county in the State, a work house, the site of which shall consist of the county jail and such other space within the state as may be acquired by lease or purchase. The county board may acquire by purchase, or eminent domain in the manner now provided to acquire, take, hold and appropriate real estate for the use of the county to construct county buildings, or otherwise, such land within the county as may be necessary or useful in the development and management of such institution, and they may adopt plans and specifications and erect buildings, by contract or otherwise, and purchase the furniture and fixtures therefor. As far as practicable workhouse buildings shall be constructed by inmates.
Sec. 2. Same. The county board of any county may lease or purchase land in any other county in the state for workhouse purposes and may hold or convey title to the same, by its county board, in the same manner as a private corporation.
Sec. 3. Purchase-bonds-election. For the purpose of acquiring said land and erecting said buildings, the county board is hereby authorized to issue bonds of the county. Such bonds shall be issued in such sum or sums as may be necessary for the purchase of lands, and the erection of such buildings as are herein authorized: Provided, no bonds shall be issued until the question of their issue shall have been submitted by the county board, in the manner provided by law, for the assessment of taxes, the aggregate of which exceeds the rate of one dollar
and a half per one hundred dollars valuation of the property of the county, to the voters of such county at a general election, or a special election called for such purpose, and their issue approved by a majority of the electors voting on such proposition.
Sec. 4. Sentenced to-when.-Whenever any person over the age of majority shall be convicted of an offense punishable, under the laws of the State or the ordinances of any village or city in the county, by imprisonment for one year or less, said justice or court shall sentence said person to imprisonment in the workhouse and the commitment shall be to such workhouse. Provided, however, this shall not conflict with the provision of any act which may be passed to provide a State Custodial Farm.
Sec. 5. Dependents of persons sent to workhouse. At the time of sentencing such person the court shall, by the taking of such proof as may be necessary, which shall be a part of the cost in said action, determine what person or persons, if any, who are residents of the county, are actually dependent on such person for support and the names of such person or persons shall be placed in the docket of said court and also in the commitment of such person to the workhouse. And the court shall at the same time, designate the person to whom payments are to be made for such dependent person or persons, as hereinafter provided, the name of which person shall also appear in the docket of said court and in said commitment.
Sec. 6. Labor of convict.-Any person so committed shall be required to do and perform any suitable labor, provided by the sheriff, for not to exceed ten hours each day, or, in case of farm labor, not more than twelve hours each day.
Sec. 7. Sheriff-custodian.-The workhouse of such county is extended to any place within the county where said work is provided. The sheriff shall at all times have the custody of such convicted persons and may take such person to any other county in the state for the purpose of requiring them to perform labor on property owned or leased by the county board for workhouse purposes or to perform labor for the county or any village or city in the county.
Sec. 8. Labor performed.-The county board may provide work for the prisoners in the workhouse and they may establish
any form of enterprise, or industry for the employment of said prisoners. The county board and the county surveyor and highway commissioner may use the laborers from the workhouse in performing labor for the county whenever it is practicable and safe so to do, and it is hereby made the duty of the sheriff to furnish, under sufficient guard, to the county board and the surveyor and highway commissioner, such men from the workhouse as can be used in said work for the county.
Sec. 9. Contracts for employment of labor. The sheriff may make contracts in writing for the employment of all such convicted persons when not employed in doing work for the county, and to make all needful regulation for the profitable employment of such persons and for the collection of their earnings. The sheriff may contract with any city or village in the county for the employment of such convicted persons. No contract shall be made for the employment of prisoners when the cost to the county for carrying out such contract shall exceed the amount received under the contract. Contracts for the employment of prisoners by the day, week or month shall be at the current wage for such labor.
Sec. 10. Earnings from labor-disposition. It shall be the duty of the sheriff at the end of each week to give to the person designated in the commitment for the person or persons so found to be dependent on such convicted person for support, an order on the county for the portion of the earnings for such person, collected by him, which in his judgment should be paid for such dependent persons. In case such convicted person has worked for the county, then the sheriff shall, at the end of each week, deliver to the person so designated to receive the same an order on said county, for an amount equal to the per cent specified above, of a fair wage per day for the number of days that such person has actually worked for such county. Said order shall in all cases state who has earned said money and who are entitled to the same for support.
Sec. 11. Guards.-The sheriff shall employ as many guards as necessary to oversee the work of the prisoners and prevent their escape. He shall issue orders on the county for the wages of said guards.
Sec. 12. Food, etc.-In every county having a workhouse as herein provided the sheriff shall provide food, fuel, light,
shelter and such other necessaries of life as may be needed for the health, comfort and general welfare of prisoners while in his care, and he may employ such help as may be needed for that purpose. He may also lease land for not to exceed one year for the purpose of raising produce with the work of the prisoners. He shall give orders on the county in payment therefor, for the actual cost thereof.
Sec. 13. Earnings-reports. It shall be the duty of the sheriff to render to the county board each month a sworn itemized statement of all money so collected, by whom earned, by whom paid and also the orders drawn on said county as provided herein.
Sec. 14. Same-turn over to county treasurer. All money collected by the sheriff by virtue of this act shall, at the end of each month, be turned over to the county treasurer to be credited to the general fund, together with an itemized statement showing by whom same was earned and paid.
Sec. 15. Order-county pay.-All orders issued by the sheriff under this act shall be a charge against the county, and shall be paid out of the general fund of said county.
Sec. 16. Rules and regulations. The judges of the district court, of the county, shall make rules and regulations for the government of said workhouse as they are now required to do for jails, and shall make rules for rewarding prisoners for good. behavior, and willingness, and industry, by deduction of time. from the sentence, and they shall establish rules for treatment of prisoners who refuse to work diligently, and such other rules as they may deem wise for the general welfare of the prisoners; including the segregation of hardened criminals from others.
Sec. 17. Contracts with other county for use of workhouse. -When a workhouse shall be established in any county in the state as herein provided, it shall be lawful for any other county, by its county board, to contract with the county board of said county having a workhouse for the imprisonment and maintenance of prisoners, and thereafter all persons convicted in said county, of offenses for which a jail sentence of one year or less may be imposed, may be sentenced to said workhouse in the same manner as persons convicted in the county having a work
house. Provided every such contract shall provide for the return of prisoners to the county where sentenced upon release from the workhouse.
Sec. 18. Violation or neglect-penalty. For unreasonably neglecting or refusing to carry out all the provisions herein made, or for making any false report of receipts or expenditures under this act the sheriff may be removed from office by the District Court on charges duly preferred against him by any citizen of said county, as for wilful maladministration in office.
Sec. 19. Escape of prisoner.-Any prisoner who shall escape or attempt to escape shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than three months.
Sec. 20. Workhouse commissioners election.-At the general election in 1918 and every two years thereafter, in each county in the state having more than 100,000 inhabitants, there shall be elected two workhouse commissioners who shall be elected in the same manner as judges of the district court. Provided, however, the petition filed by the candidate shall be signed by not less than three per cent of the duly qualified voters residing within said county. They shall hold office until their successors shall be elected and qualified. After said commissioners have qualified, they, together with the sheriff, shall constitute the board of workhouse commissioners for said county. Thereafter said board shall have and perform all of the duties provided in this act for the board of county commissioners and the sheriff. Provided, however, said board may employ a superintendent of the workhouse who shall thereupon perform the duties provided in this act for the sheriff; said duties to be performed under the direction of said board. If the sheriff is appointed superintendent of the workhouse he shall receive no additional compensation therefor during his term of office.
Sec. 21. Same-vacancy-salary. Any vacancy occurring in the board shall be filled for the unexpired term by the members thereof. Before entering upon their office members of the board shall give bond for the faithful performance of their duties in the sum of $5000.00 each, under the same terms as other county officials. The members of the board shall receive. no compensation for their services as workhouse commissioners.