By Joan Barron
About 18 month ago, the state launched its participation in the federal Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This was an ambitious two-year effort with the goal of controlling state spending on corrections and reinvesting the money saved into alternative programs. Wyoming at the time had a record of both low recidivism — the rate of repeated convictions and incarcerations — and unusually long prison sentences. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is participating in the program by giving technical assistance to the state. The Department of Corrections has weekly phone calls with the CSG consultants who also continue to travel to Wyoming following several monthly meetings with focus groups of inmates, probationers, parolees and behavioral health providers. They also joined the DOC administrators in presentations to Wyoming prosecutors.