County Officials Express Concerns about Judiciary Bills

Laramie Boomerang 

By Daniel Bendtsen

A few measures proposed during the Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee meeting in Laramie drew some scrutiny from Albany County’s elected officials.

The two-day meeting began Thursday and mostly consisted of analysis of a report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which made recommendations on Wyoming’s criminal justice system to help reduce the state’s prison population.

The group’s report suggests the state is “over-supervising” people on probation and parole.

To combat that, the report suggests the level of supervision a convict receives should be based on a “risk assessment.”

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent said she was concerned by what she saw as a formulaic approach suggested in the report.

The risk assessment, she said, would create a “decision matrix” that unfairly binds herself, the judge and probation officers.

Trent said the flexibility provided by the current system, which allows several stakeholders to evaluate the needs of individual cases, is the best approach.

“The ruralness of how we do it is beautiful,” she said.

As part of several bills the judiciary committee is also expecting to advance, the Wyoming Court Security Committee requested the state to require “each county sheriff to maintain security cameras in circuit and district courtrooms.”

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