Wyoming Liberty Group
One of the truisms of our political system is that Interim Committee members change. After two years of very hard work by the previous Judicial Interim Committee, a comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) Bill was not introduced in the Senate after passing through the House last session.
It’s been a topsy-turvy ride for Wyoming’s Criminal Justice Reform bill, HB94. Too few understand the magnitude of effort it has taken to get the evidence-based legislation to where it is now. After nearly FIFTEEN years of discussions, studies, and analysis, the bill finally stands a fighting chance at becoming law.
There are four main approaches to administering criminal justice; 1) Deterrence, 2) Restraint, 3) Retribution, and 4) Rehabilitation. Every criminal justice system uses some combination but over the years, trial and error throughout the 50 states has called into question the effectiveness of each. Making sure Wyoming’s focus is on an efficient, evidence-based combination will go a long way towards increasing long-term public safety, saving taxpayer dollars, and giving offenders a shot at redemption.
In case you missed it, Anthony sat down with Gary Freeman on KGAB Radio to answer the tough questions surrounding criminal justice reform. Much appreciation to the thoughtful listeners that took the time to call in. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Anthony directly via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Be careful where you’re spreading holiday cheer this season. You could wind up in the slammer for six months or pay up to $750 in fines. According to an ordinance approved by the City of Cheyenne in 1897, it’s technically unlawful to Christmas carol without a permit. The 120-year-old law isn’t just a prime example of regulatory nonsense and over-criminalization – it’s a clear violation of protected free speech.
Anthony appeared on KGAB Radio to discuss four theories of criminal justice: Deterrence, Restraint, Retribution, and Rehabilitation. He and host, Gary Freeman, hashed out the good and bad of each theory and how they are addressed by Wyoming’s proposed Criminal Justice Reform legislation.
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.