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Editor:

Overcrowding in the Wyoming prison system is a huge problem as are the reasons behind a lot of it. Currently all the institutions are full with inmates out of state and in county jails.

Some of the problem is due to improper case management and to illegal and unnecessary treatment recommendations, costing the people of Wyoming and taxpayers millions of dollars. 

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There are inmates here at the Wyoming Honor Farm that have been parole home for months and are still here. We have inmates that were paroled upon completion of treatment that have graduated and are still here. We have inmates that have been accepted to the halfway house in Gillette since June still sitting here. This should not be happening. We should not be missing out on our families and our own lives because of poor case management. 

There are roughly 270 inmates here at the Honor Farm. About 100 of the inmates should be going to a halfway house or going home but are not due to the illegal assessments given to us by Gateway, the treatment provider for Wyoming Department of Corrections. We all get an ASI/ASAM by the courts, usually prior to sentencing, which tells them if we have a substance abuse problem or if we need treatment. The problem we have here is that Gateway is overriding the District Court judges and giving a lot of us treatment recommendations. For example, I had a 1.0 ASI/ASAM with a NO treatment recommendation from Probation and Parole. Now Gateway has changed my recommendation to residential treatment without even meeting me or talking to me. They did hot have a signed release of information which violates my federal and HIPPA rights. 

The treatment facilities are both state and federally funded in which the taxpayers are funding the bills for these illegal assessments. This is a huge misappropriation of taxpayers' money. Inmates waiting to go to these facilities are being told they are on a waiting list as far back as 100. Some inmates do need the treatment and want it. 

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ELMER PETERSEN, Wyoming Honor Farm, Riverton

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