Legislative Committee Considers Judicial Reforms

Sep 21, 2018

Credit Wyoming State Legislature

The legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee spent Thursday going through a massive report that proposes a number of reforms within Wyoming's judicial system. The hope is that it'll reduce the prison population and save the state money. 

The Justice Reinvestment report suggests sentencing more people to probation and looking for ways to help those paroled be more successful. It also suggests that lawmakers provide more drug and alcohol treatment following an initial arrest. Some would like more money spent on services for those leaving prison, but Gillette Representative Bill Pownall said money is better spent early in the criminal justice process and wants to restore funding for local treatment services.

"The funding has been cut, I'd like to see some of it put back in there. But I think it's for the early intervention, not for the ones later down the road who are higher risk."

Pownall, a former Campbell County Sheriff, said his experience is that those who commit serious crimes tend to re-offend. A number of Judges testified that more probation could be considered if more services were made available. The committee is digesting the report with plans to consider legislation in November.