Auditors concerned about lack of control over Nebraska prison drugs

LINCOLN, Neb. — A preliminary report by state auditors indicates Nebraska’s prison system isn’t doing a good job of keeping track of the prescription medication it doles out to prisoners daily.

So much so that auditors compiled an early report for lawmakers laying out their concerns about the lack of internal controls governing the drug-dispensing apparatus. The final audit is not yet complete, but the report gives a preview of the problems uncovered in a prison system that has been battered by scandals in recent years. State Auditor Charlie Janssen said he’s limited in what he can say before the audit is complete, but added, “There are some things in there that are concerning” that the state is “taking extremely seriously.” He said he’s working with the new corrections director, Scott Frakes, to address the pharmacy problems.

“There appears to be a lack of internal control with the prescription drugs,” Janssen said. “We’re looking further into that.”

Asked whether any drugs went missing, he said, “We don’t know yet. We just think there’s a lack of internal control that could lead to that.”

Auditors looked into the corrections department’s central pharmacy, which fills inmates’ prescriptions, from July 2013 through the end of 2014, during which the department bought over $11 million worth of medications.

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