- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A program that would allow children to stay with their incarcerated mothers still has not opened due to low staffing levels at the Wyoming Women’s Center.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1HwLmE4) that Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert told members of the Joint Judiciary Committee that 23 of 52 positions at the facility are vacant, making opening the prison’s nursery impossible.

The Legislature in 2012 provided $1.2 million for the prison to renovate a building to serve as a nursery. Renovations were completed in January 2014 and now the 3,600-square-foot building has 11 rooms with beds and cribs that remain empty.

The program planned for Wyoming would allow pregnant inmates to keep their infants for up to 18 months after birth to foster stronger bonds, but Lampert says until there is more staff it cannot open.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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