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Mon Nov 19, 2018, 09:38 AM

North Dakota may hold key to Wyoming's prison woes

BISMARCK, North Dakota — Wyoming and North Dakota do not share a border but do share some definitive traits — wide open spaces, a largely rural population, energy booms and busts and staunch Republican control of state government.

Until recently, they also shared a problem with prison growth. Wyoming’s prison beds are maxed out. The state is paying to send inmates to privately run prisons out of state and to house them in county jails.

North Dakota has been there. Its prison growth was relatively flat for years. Then a host of new felonies were written into state law in the 1990s. The Bakken oil boom followed, bringing a rise in crime that drove the numbers of incarcerated people way up, according to Leann Bertsch, director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

A few years ago, North Dakota’s prison population was growing faster than nearly every other state in the country, according to research by the Council of State Government’s Justice Center, a group currently studying Wyoming’s justice system. The state population grew by 18 percent during the Bakken boom, which is generally considered to have begun in 2006 and lasted until 2014, Bertsch said. The prison population grew by 250 percent during the same period.

Read more: https://www.wyofile.com/north-dakota-offers-a-salve-for-wyomings-justice-woes/

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Reply North Dakota may hold key to Wyoming's prison woes (Original post)
TexasTowelie Nov 2018 OP
Farmer-Rick Nov 2018 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 09:47 AM

1. Sounds like basic prison and sentencing reforms with community involvement

The same things that were advocated 25 years ago. The new twist is less harassment for cannabis use.

Why does it take so long for the obvious good to be implemented?

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