All across Wyoming, families, counties, law enforcement, state agencies, and service providers are working diligently with juvenile offenders to help them integrate successfully back into their communities, whenever possible. As a resource for Wyoming communities, Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOA) partners with local leaders to ensure that Wyoming’s youth are being given the greatest chance of success while still promoting accountability and maintaining public safety.
With leaders from around the state, VOA is focused on implementing best practice methods of working with youth in the juvenile justice system. Congress incorporated many of these best practices in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 (JJDPA). This act, originally passed in 1974 and most recently reauthorized in 2002, has established four core protections for youth in the juvenile justice system:
- Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) – “Juveniles who are charged with or who have committed an offense that would not be criminal if committed by an adult ... shall not be placed in secure detention facilities or secure correctional facilities.”
- Separation of Juveniles from Incarcerated Adults (Sight and Sound Separation) – “Juveniles alleged to be or found to be delinquent [as well as status offenders and nonoffenders] will not be detained or confined in any institution in which they have contact with adult inmates.”
- Removal of Juveniles from Adult Jails and Lockup (Jail Removal) – “Juveniles who are accused of nonstatus offenses who are detained in such jail or lock-up for a period not to exceed 6 hours for processing and release; while awaiting transfer to a juvenile facility; or in which period such juveniles make a court appearance, and only if such juveniles do not have contact with adult inmates…”
- Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) – “Address juvenile delinquency prevention efforts and system improvement efforts designed to reduce, without establishing or requiring numerical standards or quotas, the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups, who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.”
To help communities implement these practices, VOA has distributed over a million dollars in subgrants in the past three years to fifteen counties and the Wind River Reservation. VOA has also worked with counties to collect data on the use of secure detention across the state, using this information to recognize achievements and identify areas of improvement.
At VOA, we look forward to working with you in your community. Please let us know how we can be a better resource for you. Thank you for your interest in promoting healthy, successful youth in Wyoming.
For more information, contact:
(307) 672-0475 ext.227
2010 Executive Summary State Report (pdf file)
2010 State Report (pdf file)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Wyoming State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice
Wyoming Department of Family Services
Wyoming Sheriffs and Chiefs Association
Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy
Justice Concepts Inc.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Wyoming Department of Corrections
Wyoming Department of Health