Wyoming Department of Corrections

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Inmates at Wyoming’s Medium Security Correctional Institution will need more than classroom instruction to succeed after they’re released—and there are a number of programs inside Torrington that try and prepare prisoners for the world outside the prison’s walls.

Tim Well’s prerelease course at Torrington looks more like a high school classroom than a prison. An inspirational quote is written on the blackboard, along with a checklist--3 cover letters, 2 job applications, and a resume--all to be completed before graduation. Today’s lesson is about money and parenting.

Ken Piorkowski via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming lawmakers are considering changing state law to allow firing squads in the execution of condemned convicts.

A similar bill failed introduction in the state Senate, but after Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert testified before the legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee, the committee asked staff to draft a bill allowing firing squads—which they’ll consider at their next meeting in July.

Micah Schweizer

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.

Inmates in Wyoming’s jails and prisons frequently complain that they don’t receive adequate medical care. That might not seem like a huge problem, but the Eight Amendment of the Constitution requires that if prison staff know an inmate has a serious medical need, they have to treat it.

Civil rights groups are worried that serious cases are being ignored. But the Wyoming Department of Corrections says inmates just don’t have a realistic idea of how they should be treated. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.