Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't kill the messenger

Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: Don't kill the messenger
The problem, in fact, is the numbers.  You should get your facts straight.
Kermit C. Brown
Representative House District 14
P.O. Box 817
Laramie, WY 82073
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:51 AM
Subject: Don't kill the messenger

Don't kill the messenger!

For the past 50 years the state of Wyoming has refused to provide a uniform justice system for the children of our state. As a result over 80 percent of our juveniles are processed through adult court often with no access to assessment, evaluation, counseling, probation or other appropriate services.

According to the most recent Annie E. Casey Foundation report Wyoming continues to have the highest rate of juvenile confinement in the nation.

In 2010 the Wyoming American Civil Liberties Union released a report, "Inequality in the Equality State: The Damaged Juvenile Justice and Detention System in Wyoming." Unfortunately, the response to this report from the Joint Judiciary Committee has been to try and "kill the messenger."

Instead of responding with concern and well thought out action the committee has denounced the data and Co-Chairman Kermit Brown last week asked, "How much are we going to have to spend to tell the ACLU they are wrong?"

None of the data that Brown and other members of the committee have questioned is "ACLU data." Not one number was researched, collected or documented by the ACLU. All data included in the report came from the most recent and accurate data available from the Wyoming Attorney General's Office and the Department of Justice. In addition, reports dating back 40 years level the same type of criticism as the current reports.

The problem is not the numbers; it is the system. The juvenile system has been, and continues to be, a system that is inherently incapable of providing the most effective outcomes for both children and the community. It is tragic that legislators are using this smokescreen to cover up their lack of attention to this important issue.

LINDA BURT, Cheyenne                  Executive Director, Wyoming American Civil Liberties Union

Read more:
Best wishes always,
Bill Harasym

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless
means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -Paolo Friere-

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