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April 23, 2014

CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN: Prisoner Crash Settles for $2M, Ends State Program

On June 6, 2013, Joyce Meeks was driving home from work on Van Dorn Street in Lincoln, Neb. A vehicle driven by Jeremy Dobbe crossed the center line, striking Meeks’ vehicle at 70 mph and killing her instantly. Dobbe was in prison and was driving a vehicle owned by the Nebraska Department of Corrections as part of the Inmate Van Driver Program. This program allowed inmates of Nebraska prisons to drive state vehicles on public roads as part of a work detail assignment.

Dobbe had two convictions for DUI, one in Colfax County in 1999 and one in Platt County in 2003, a conviction for Reckless Driving in Stanton County in 2001, a conviction for Willful Reckless Driving in Platt County in 2005, a conviction for Careless Driving in Colfax County in 2010 and a conviction for Possession of Marijuana in Platt County in 2000. Dobbe also had a felony conviction in Butler County for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, a felony conviction for Terroristic Threats in Colfax County and a misdemeanor conviction for criminal mischief in Colfax County. Despite this record of convictions, Dobbe was allowed by the State of Nebraska to drive a state-owned van on public streets to pick up other inmates at their respective work detail assignments.

As a result of this case, Nebraska ended its Inmate Van Driver Program.

CHICAGO DAILY LAW BULLETIN: Prisoner Crash Settles for $2M, Ends State Program