Juvenile Justice

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. In Wyoming communities, Volunteers of America Northern Rockies 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, we focus on implementing best practice methods of working with youth in the juvenile justice system.

A young man smiles for the camera.

Congress incorporated many of these best practices in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2018 (JJDPA). This act, originally passed in 1974 and most recently reauthorized in 2018, has established four core protections for youth in the juvenile justice system:

  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offender (DSO): “… a juvenile shall not be placed in a secure detention facility or a secure correctional facility, if the juvenile is charged with or has committed an offense that would not be criminal if committed by an adult.” 34 U.S.C. § 11133(a)(11)(A). Core protection since 1974.
  • Removal of Juveniles from Jails or Lockups for Adults (Jail Removal): “… no juvenile will be detained or confined in any jail or lockup for adults except juveniles who are accused of nonstatus offenses and who are detained in such jail or lockup for a period not to exceed 6 hours for processing or release, while awaiting transfer to a juvenile facility, or in which period such juveniles make a court appearance.” 34 U.S.C. § 11133(a)(13). Core protection added in 1980.
  • Separation of Juveniles from Adult Inmates (Separation): “… juveniles alleged to be or found to be delinquent or juveniles [who are status offenders or non-offenders] will not be detained or confined in any institution in which they have sight or sound contact with adult inmates.” 34 U.S.C. § 11133(a)(12)(A). Core protection since 1974.
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED): “… implement policy, practice, and system improvement strategies at the State, territorial, local, and tribal levels, as applicable, to identify and reduce racial and ethnic disparities among youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system, without establishing or requiring numerical standards or quotas.” 34 U.S.C. § 11133(a)(15). Core protection added in 1992.

    To help communities implement these practices, we distribute sub-grants to many Wyoming counties and the Wind River Reservation.

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