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Fri July 7, 2006
Judge Lifts Agreement on Prison
Laramie, Wy – A federal judge has lifted a settlement
agreement that has been addressing issues like medical care, mental health care, security, fire safety and environmental issues like food handling at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
The settlement stemmed from a 1998 U-S Department of Justice investigation into the prison. The federal agency threatened to sue if certain problems were not addressed.
Federal and state officials signed the remedial plan in 2002.
Many issues, like fire safety, were addressed when the state closed the prison's problematic North Facility in 2001 and moved inmates to the new South Facility. But other issues continued to present challenges.
U-S District Judge Alan Johnson lifted the settlement agreement on Wednesday.
Scott Abbott was the prison warden until his recent appointment as the Corrections Department's chief of operations for corrections. Abott says Johnson's decision is a milestone for Wyoming's corrections system.