Wyoming Has One of Lowest Prison Return Rates

K2's Ophelia Young reports, oyoung@k2tv.com: 

A new study says the rate of Wyoming inmates who return to incarceration once released is one of the lowest in the country. 

In Wyoming, about 25 percent of prison inmates are sent back to prison for committing another crime.  The nationwide average is 43 percent.  Next to Oregon, we are the lowest in the country. 

The research company studied inmates released in 2004 and sent back in 2007, three years later.  The states with the highest rates are Alaska, California, Illinois, Missouri, Vermont and, the highest at 61 percent, Minnesota. 

The Wyoming Department of Corrections say we are far below the national average because both their employees and prisoners work hard to transition inmates back into the community.  They say 100 percent of their inmates use their extensive amount of programs.

"And that's really the key.  It's that we've taken researched based practices that have been proven to work across the nation.  Those are the type of things that we've employed.  We review those consistently and make sure that they continue to work," Tim Lockwood said.  Lockwood is the Public Information Officer for the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

Our country spends 52 billion dollars annually on corrections departments.  That is 22 billion more from ten years ago.