CASPER — Wyoming could save $20 million and reduce incarceration by more than one-sixth if it deeply cuts prison sentences for drug crimes and altogether ends prison terms for possession convictions, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The suggestion comes as part of a report issued Tuesday that lays out a proposed path to halving Wyoming’s prison population by 2025.

Though the potential savings outlined in the report were substantial, the co-chairman of the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee, Rep. Dan Kirkbride, R-Chugwater, said that many of the benchmarks outlined in the report were largely aspirational.

“It’s kind of an aggressive agenda,” he said. “But I don’t say that critically; I appreciate people who have a vision for where government needs to go. ... If you’re really going to tackle the problem, maybe some of the aggressiveness is justified. We’ll see what the state’s appetite is for it in the years to come.”

Contact Johanna Love at 732-7071 or

Johanna Love steers the newsroom as editor. Her time off is occupied by kid, dog, biking, camping and art. She loves to hear from readers with story tips, kudos, criticism and questions.

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