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Omaha pastor Carm Aderman, with help from a prison minister, began offering a workshop this summer called the Hero’s Journey Prison Writing Project. Five inmates have participated in the program.

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While John Hagan focused on “mass incarceration” nationally, much of the four-hour forum moderated by Omaha State Sen. Burke Harr dealt with steps Nebraska is taking to promote alternatives to prison and reduce offenders from relapsing.

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Mike Marvin, executive director of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees, said that the union has asked several times in recent months to open up negotiations to address high turnover and other problems with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, but those requests had been met with "deaf ears" until Thursday.

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