In 1967, Rawlins resident Duane Shillinger was hired by the Wyoming State Penitentiary as a counselor. Later, through an unexpected turn of events, he ended up serving as warden for seventeen years. In this story, he remembers the transition from the 19th century facility to the current one, and the relationships he formed with inmates.
Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert is asking lawmakers to support some proposed prison reforms. He told the Joint Judiciary Committee that Wyoming has one of the most successful correction systems in the nation in terms of its rate of return to prison.
The Wyoming Board of Parole has approved the establishment of a victim-offender dialog program. The program will create an avenue for perpetrators and victims of a crime to meet in person and talk, which advocates say helps the healing process for both parties.
The Board of Parole’s Victim Services Coordinator, Randi Losalu, says this approach gives victims of crimes more of an opportunity to be heard.
The Wyoming Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says that most complaints surrounding state prisons and jails involves improper medical of mental health care. Much of that has to do with inmates not getting their necessary medication.
The women’s prison in Lusk is seeking funding for a nursery. That would enable inmates who give birth while incarcerated to keep their babies with them in prison for up to 18 months.
Warden Phil Myer says it’s usually better for newborns to be with their mothers – even in prison – than to live with relatives or foster parents, and he says taking care of a baby in prison also makes inmates less likely to commit further crimes.