NSP housing units impacted by broken water pipe

NSP housing units impacted by broken water pipe


CONTACT Dayne Urbanovsky, Director of Strategic Communications

OFFICE 402-479-5799 | dayne.urbanovsky@nebraska.gov


CONTACT Dawn-Renee Smith, Chief of Staff

OFFICE 402-479-5721 | dawnrenee.smith@nebraska.gov


March 10, 2023 (Lincoln, Neb.) – A broken water pipe has caused four housing units to be placed on modified operations* at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP). Contractors immediately arrived at the facility this afternoon to address the issue. Portable restrooms and bottled water have been brought to the penitentiary for those who are affected.

“The cause of the break has not yet been identified,” said Diane Sabatka-Rine, interim director at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS). “The water and steam have been shut off to the housing units, shop areas and other support buildings. Meals will continue to be provided and served on Styrofoam trays, since the water is off.”

Approximately 600 inmates are impacted, who are housed in the four minimum-custody housing units. Digging has started in the area of the break. Once identified, repairs will begin.

“We hope to have water restored tomorrow,” said NSP Warden Michele Wilhelm. “Admittedly, that will depend on identifying the initial break and insuring no other leaks happen as the water is restored, which can sometimes occur with older pipes.”

She said if the water outage does last longer, steps will be taken to ensure inmates have restrooms, fresh bottled water and if necessary, showers in another location.


*Modified operations is defined as, actions taken to more closely control movement of inmates within a facility due to safety and security needs. Can include confinement in cells of a portion of the inmate population, cancellation of program/work activities, and direct escort of certain inmates – as determined by the warden/designee.