Report Shows Decline in Juvenile Detention Numbers for Wyoming

In late January, Volunteers of America released "The State of Juvenile Detention in Wyoming: 2008 Compliance Monitoring Report." Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson with more.

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The title is a mouthful, and the nearly 30-page report is chock full of statistics showing that Wyoming has significantly improved its system regarding juvenile justice issues. While it's dated 2008, it's taken months to put together. Craig Fisgus, Project Director with the VOA, explains.

Among the data the VOA obtained from the "Juvenile Jail Roster" database, is an indication that a major change for the better has taken place in Campbell County.

The report indicates that communities around the state have found creative ways to solve problems in managing status offenders -- those kids who have committed misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. The community connection is key, says Fisgus.

The report also indicates that community juvenile service boards can assess available funding, allocate resources wisely, and thereby intervene more effectively before youth enter the justice system. And when youth do enter the system, counties can then access systems that hold youth accountable for their behavior without the need for secure detention.

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