By Alex Vargas, Lincoln Journal Star

Justice in Action, the nonprofit organization that drew more than 1,150 people Thursday night at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, gathered again Friday morning in front of the County-City Building to express their concerns about jail overcrowding.

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon didn’t attend Thursday’s event after the organization extended an invitation. In response, the group staged a rally in front of the Hall of Justice at 575 S. 10th St., where they believed Condon would be attending a quarterly Justice Council meeting.

Condon told the Journal Star that he told the Rev. Dr. Oscar Sinclair, co-president of Justice in Action, earlier in the week that he would be unable to attend Thursday’s event because of a prior commitment.

He said he was attending a Nebraska County Attorney Association Spring Conference from Wednesday to Thursday in Kearney, where one of his deputy county attorneys was receiving an award.

There were about 120 people outside the Hall of Justice on Friday morning to support Justice in Action.

Some activists at the gathering held signs in support of pretrial diversion, along with problem-solving programs meant to help individuals overcome their charges and avoid having a criminal record.

“The vast majority of people in the county jail are there for non-violent drug offenses,” Sinclair said.

Condon said Lancaster County has five problem-solving programs and three diversion programs available.

Sinclair said members of the group were advocating for policies in Lincoln to reflect that people have worth and deserve help.

Justice in Action has been in constant communication with Condon, who said “they have some good ideas and good thoughts.”

The organization planned to ask Condon to commit to removing certain barriers in the pretrial diversion programs, one of which is eliminating the 90-day application deadline.

Condon said he would look into policy changes if his office found that the scope of programs designed to help people were not working properly.

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