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JRI Years: 2019 & 2020

2019 & 2020


In 2018, Wyoming’s prisons were at capacity, and 88 people from the state were being housed at a prison in Mississippi. The prison population was projected to grow, in part because of revocations from supervision, many of which were driven by drug offenses. This growth would have resulted in dramatic increases to the corrections budget. At the same time, recent declines in state revenue were hindering Wyoming’s ability to invest in strategies to lower recidivism and reduce crime. Under the direction of Wyoming’s Joint Judiciary Committee (JJC), staff from the CSG Justice Center helped the JJC develop policy options to address these issues.


These policies were reflected in House Enrolled Act 15 and 53 and Senate Enrolled Act 19 and 50, which were signed into law in February 2019. The legislation provides additional tools to support judges as they determine probation terms and sentence lengths; increases support for victims of crime; holds people on probation and parole accountable with swift, certain, and proportional sanctions; and focuses probation resources on people during the time when they are most likely to fail on supervision.

In early 2020, the state legislature passed HEA 62 to strengthen behavioral health treatment and programming for people in the criminal justice system with evidence-based practices and robust quality assurance measures. To support statewide implementation of new treatment guidelines and standards, the bill also appropriated more than $300,000 to staff the Department of Corrections’ quality improvement unit. This unit is responsible for training and oversight to ensure that the new guidelines are implemented properly across the state. To that end, Wyoming implemented several policy and practice changes.1 This included modifying its incentives and sanctions structure (PRISM) to use graduated sanctions, including substance use disorder interventions, instead of revocations to prison. This was done in response to the overcapacity of the prison population and projected growth driven by revocations, often for drug offenses.2


Two years of PRISM implementation show that community supervision staff rely on alternative sanctions more frequently than incarceration sanctions. Both the prison population and supervised population declined from FY2019 to FY2022, and revocations to prison for technical violations were 42 percent lower in the first 6 months of 2020 compared to the first 6 months of 2019.3

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in Wyoming.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Reclassify/redefine offense class or offense level
  • Establish/revise presentence assessment
  • Expand good-time/earned-time prison credits/reentry leave
  • Authorize performance incentive funding
  • Authorize administrative jail sanctions
  • Authorize/develop/modify graduated responses or matrices for violations
  • Increase standard of proof when considering probation revocation
  • Require/improve risk-needs assessment
  • Require evidence-based practices
  • Reduce probation terms or active supervision period
  • Improve behavioral health interventions
  • Require data collection/performance measures
  • Establish measures to streamline/improve efficiency of system
  • Improve restitution/victim notification
  • Train justice system stakeholders on topics related to implementing legislation
  • Establish/improve network to link supervised populations to behavioral health providers

Other JRI-Funded Projects

The Wyoming Department of Corrections, in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, was selected to receive an embedded data analyst through the Resident Corrections Analyst initiative. The resident corrections analyst will focus on improving the agency’s data analysis capabilities through modernizing data management and reporting and expanding the existing data pipelines to deliver reporting metrics faster.

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in Wyoming, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 19, 2023 from

2 Ibid.

3 Stephanie Duriez and Alison Martin, July 2022, “Wyoming: Monitoring Data Trends after 2019 Justice Reinvestment Reforms,” New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 19, 2023 from

This photo is by Babymestizo and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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