The Wyoming Legislature passed a slate of bills aimed at tackling criminal justice reinvestment in Wyoming. Based on recommendations from the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, formed after a nearly year-long study, the bills offer science-based solutions to the pressures on the state’s prison system.
Justice Reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism.
States receiving technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center
Other states that have pursued a justice reinvestment approach with technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts or the Crime & Justice Institute include: Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. Learn more about how justice reinvestment works here.
State directors and staff in the fields of public safety, mental health, social services, and corrections are rolling out implementations of the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative. It aims to turn around Missouri’s rising incarceration rates by investing in treatment and other services rather than in prisons.
While governors set the tone and the general direction of a state’s destiny, it is the legislature they work with — independent and made of dozens of independent minds — that controls the flow of the conversation.
A new law meant to make it easier for Missouri crime victims to request financial aid to help pay for medical coverage, counseling and other expenses appears to be working, advocates say.
Wyoming and North Dakota do not share a border but do share some definitive traits — wide open spaces, a largely rural population, energy booms and busts and staunch Republican control of state government.
Recent CSG Justice Center Posts
In February, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a package of Justice Reinvestment legislation into law. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 15, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 19, HEA 53, and SEA 50 aim to reduce recidivism 25 percent by fiscal year 2024 and avert up to $18.1 million in costs that can be reinvested in increasing the availability and effectiveness of community-based behavioral health treatment for people on probation and parole.
President Trump signed the omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bill, which provides $30.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Justice and includes $3.02 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.
Michael P. Boggs, a Georgia Supreme Court justice, has been appointed chair of The Council of State Governments Justice Center’s Advisory Board.
State policymakers are grappling with upticks in violent crime, the opioid epidemic, people who have mental illnesses in the justice system, high rates of recidivism, and the high cost of corrections, all while trying to improve services for victims and increase opportunities for people returning to communities from jail and prison. To tackle these issues, more than 25 states have partnered with the CSG Justice Center to use a justice reinvestment approach.
The fourth and final presentation to Oregon’s Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee provides an overview of the project’s Medicaid and State Hospital analysis results from a criminal justice and health data match.
The second presentation to the New Mexico Justice Reinvestment Working Group summarizes findings and policy options related to reducing crime and supporting victims of crime, community supervision, and reincarceration rates.