The majority of the proposed changes focus on probation and parole because about half of the inmates in Wyoming prisons are there for violating the conditions of their supervision, such as failing a drug test or falling behind on paying their fines, according to the Council of State Governments.
House Bill 53, which passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee, would enhance the probation and parole system to include sanctions such as short periods in jail or prison coupled with substance abuse treatment for minor nonviolent infractions.“This is a way to hold people accountable and provides swift and certain responses to violations without just returning people to prison,” said Pownall, former Campbell County sheriff. “We have to make sure that people who committed horrendous crimes serve their time. … We also have to make sure that people receive the support they need to return to the community. And this is a balance.”