By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – The Department of Corrections is one step closer to having full control of Wyoming prisons. In federal court documents, the American Civil Liberties Union says the state has improved safety for inmates, and will not challenge the request to end four years of oversight by a federal judge. The oversight resulted from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of an inmate who claimed staff did not do enough to protect him from a severe beating by other prisoners. Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert says the ACLU did a good job holding the prisons accountable for inmate safety, even if its criticism at times seemed hard to swallow.
LAMPERT: I wouldn't say I always thought it was fair, but I understood their role as an advocator. Certainly, it got frustrating at times to see what I believed to be a very high quality investigation and very aggressive correction actions nitpicked, but I understood the roles.
Lampert says the next step is for the court to officially dismiss the oversight. He says the ACLU's response will go a long way to make that happen.