The number of Wyoming prisoners who asked the ACLU for help with their criminal cases increased between 2012 and 2013, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Wyoming.
The report is compiled from complaints received by inmates in Wyoming prisons and county jails. Last year, requests for legal help accounted for 15 percent of complaints from inmates—more than twice the share of complaints the year prior.
ACLU Staff Attorney Jennifer Horvath says the organization is being called on more due to inadequacies in the public defender system.
Wyoming is now offering a new program to victims of crimes that will allow them to request a facilitated meeting with the offender of the crime. The Victim Offender Dialogue Program is the first of its kind in the state for adults.
Wyoming continues to incarcerate youth at a rate much higher than the national average. That’s according to a new study by the National Juvenile Justice Network.
Since 2011, the number of kids held in detention centers has dropped dramatically across the nation. But not in Wyoming. New research shows Wyoming's youth confinement rate was 2.2 times the national average during that period.
Stephen Watt and Mark Farnham are best friends. But it’s a friendship that came out of violent circumstances. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke to both of them at the Torrington Medium Correctional Institution, where Farnham is an inmate. In the first part, Watt and Farnham talk about how they met. In the second, they discuss how their friendship has changed their lives, they say, for the better, and their desire to work towards more restorative justice programs in the criminal justice system.
This story first aired June 21, 2013 on Wyoming Public Radio.