Wyoming Liberty Group
Comprehensive criminal justice reform could increase public safety, save millions of dollars, and give each non-violent offender a second chance.
Over 95% of those incarcerated in Wyoming will eventually be released from prison, so we must consider what to do with these individuals while they are in the state’s custody. Research tell us that lengthy sentences for non-violent, low-level offenders may actually increase the threat of future offenses. Alternatively, equipping non-violent offenders with the tools to become responsible members of the community can maximize long term public safety and minimize state spending on corrections.
Last month, representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Wyoming Board of Parole presented a draft bill to the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee that offers six such tools to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with offenders. Each change invests in public safety and lessens the burden on taxpayers.
Cleaning up “blighted” property is a popular new trend in Wyoming cities. Local government officials and candidates around the state have joined the anti-blight cause. Unfortunately, proposed solutions could erode property rights, impose high costs on taxpayers, and threaten financial ruin for the very people officials and candidates claim to want to help. Owners and occupants of government-targeted property have reason to worry. Blight designation is largely a subjective matter based on personal preference. One person’s blighted property might be someone else’s home on a responsible budget.
Who ever heard of a football team not improving by competing? Practice makes perfect, but perfect gets better through competition. Competition reveals unknown flaws, generates new ideas and improves execution of old methods. Our K-12 education system needs improvement as Wyoming Liberty Group has written previously. Assuming our schools want to get better, maybe competition is part of the answer.
Testimony before the Wyoming Joint Appropriations Committee, October 24, 2016
Boyd Wiggam and Gary Freeman discussed the Housing Development Toolkit recently published by the White House with a special emphasis on the suggested deregulatory reforms the Toolkit contained that would allow the marketplace, and not regulators, determine housing supply and prices in Wyoming communities with high housing costs.
What do we do when we encounter a luxurious buffet but are on a diet? We carefully take only the permitted amount of each allowed item, right? And then we consciously take a smidgen more of each. Soon the plate is overloaded (and maybe we go back for seconds – or thirds!) Is that what’s happened in Wyoming K-12 education over the last decade?