Wyoming Girls School Continues To Evolve Throughout The Years

The Wyoming Girls School in Sheridan is a a therapeutic and educational facility for the treatment of court-ordered delinquent girls ages 12 to 21 and it has been in existence since 1925. Wyoming Girls School Administrator Clark Fairbanks says that as times change, so do some of the methods and practices at the girls school.

Fairbanks said that there are currently 43 girls at the school and that on average they usually serve about 100 girls annually.

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Girls School

I was 13 yrs. old back in 1981 when the State of Wy. still had C.I.NS. law on the books,this was an acronym for child in need of supervision. There was only 3 dorms & the basement cells in 1 of the houses was still used for solitary confinement. The state however found them to be not suitable for use & was banned. When I left 3 yrs. later, I had the longest stay record in the state at the time they where starting to come up w/ plans for the new maximum dorm. I can't tell you how much this area of children's behavior has changed since then. You are benefiting from over 30 yrs. of practice & proven methods. It was not the case back then. I now sit on my county social service advisory board & also on our states C.D. Pilot Steering committee. I'm an award recipient for P.C.A.M (prevent child abuse Mn.) parent leader of the year & also facilitate our parent group, sit on advisory board for Crisis Nursery & the list goes on. I am a very vital & productive citizen. I will say none of this was from my experience of the girls school but that was 30 yrs. ago. I will say that it did shape me in finding new ways to approach & deal w/ family dynamics & dysfunctional thinking & habits. You are blessed to have such services it use to be cut your hair & stick you down in the basement for up to 2wk.or more.The field has greatly changed & for the better. Best of luck to you all. Angela davey

I had been to the Wyoming

I had been to the Wyoming girls school and i see that a lot has changed since i was there back in 00'-02'... When i got there i have to admit i was scared not knowing what to expect and what was going to happen, to my surprise i felt pretty good n relieved i got along well with everyone n the staff were goo d to talk to. Of course half the staff that helped me r all pretty much gone by now the ones that made n immpact on my life any way... I was in Morton the 1st time i went n i hvae to say Todd Richinns was my counselor n was very helpfull in every aspect imaginable. Jim Drake, Dennis n Pete the security officers were awsome guys to talk to just passing thru doing there job they always encouraging words to say n friendly smile that lightened your day. Donna both women math n Library instructers were enjoyable. Stan the mantience he was an oscar i tell ya but he only spoke the truth n from the heart awsome guy dont know what i would have done without the enouragements from him. Sheri Thompson amazing woman n Chris wow these people have made a change in me and i am very thankfull for everything they have doen for me. Especially Todd no matter what was said done he stood bt my side and to this day he is still there for me when i have to talk n i have no one else that may not understand ic an call him and talk to this day no matter what my situations are he is still there to talk to me and cheer me upn encourage me to do the right things he has never turned his back on me or judged me or thought of me differently from any circumstance he's alwasy there to poick up the phone. I am very thankfull for especially him he has made the biggest impact on my life i would never forget what he has done for me. The director at the time Gary was an amzzing guy also he was very understanding and calm n out going n made things around the school good and chalenging. I wouldnt ever stop fighting and that is what larned there. The experiance was fanomial for me i am an amazing person who looks at the bigger picture and different possiblities in life and accpeted things i wasnt ever able to before. i have learned so much skills and process to do to get thru what life throws at you.

What most people dont get or understand is that okay your kids or a fmaily member went to WGS and you have to be automatically fixed or cured. It just dont work that way they can provide the skills and the tools to help theu whatever it is you need help with but they cant cure any one person. That person has to do that part on their own they can take the skills n tools n knowledge provided n use them when they leave or they can choose to go back to what they were doing beofre or worse.
Everything is a choice in life... It took me 2 chances with the girls school and i finally i opened up and took what was provided and now i am a happy n successfull person i have a wonderfull family n dont do drugs or drink for over 10 years now, i;ve gottenoer a lot of fears i've had and am able to deal with people in my life a lot better and i graduated n got my high school diploma n went to nursing school and i just feel unstoppable. Life is always a choice n no one is to blame for your owm faults but you no one made you pick up drugs or drinkl that drink or go to jail n pick whatever charges you have or make youlive the life your living you do all that by choice and you can only help people as much as they are willing to LET you help them after that is their own road. I would like to thank the staff that helped me on my road to a healthy lifestyle and i am living good now and wouldnt take back any thing from my past. I dont regret anything becuase everything that happened made me who i am today a strong, loving mom and wife and successfull and free.
~LIVE ur own life~

~LIVE ur own life~

Personal Experiance

There is very little mystery to my life as a 17 year old girl. We all have stories to tell about what has happened in our lives, especially things that have forever changed it. Many of you may think the Girls School just brainwashes your kids, and is a bunch of lies. The Girls School for me was life changing. Many people hear rumors of the Girls School, but these rumors were misleading.
I arrived at the Wyoming State Girls School on November 18, 2009. Checking into the Girls School was pretty scary, you didn't know what was going to happen, or if you would meet other girls that hated you for the way you looked. All sorts of thought were running through my head as to what might happen. The feelings and thoughts I had were shutdown as soon as I met some of the dorm staff and girls. The girls weren’t psychotic, or man eaters. They were polite, comforting and well mannered girls. The majority of the staff were friendly and humorous. They welcomed you so well that you already felt like you were at home.
I was put into intake clothes, which were Bob Barker jump suits. The suits were the brightest orange you could imagine. I can say that after being in those clothes; the color orange has become the most unappealing to me that I have learned to despise it.
There were three dorms for the girls to live in. Mountain View, Verda James and Morton Dormitory. The dorm that I was placed into was Morton. I got along with everyone as soon as I got there. The feeling of being liked was the best feeling I have ever had.
Staff that has affected my life for the better would have to be: Clark Fairbanks for teaching me things to do when I get frustrated with my parents. Roxy Conrad for showing me that it’s okay to be myself, and pushing me to find out who that person was. Jim Lyon, for telling me that I can achieve my highest goals. Amy Yager, and Leah Torkleson for working with me and not dumping me after 9 months of sitting around. Security for talking to me when something was wrong. The teachers that helped me get back on track with my credits. Finally Ricky Shultz, my substance abuse counselor. I didn’t really have a problem with substance abuse, but being taught through education helped me stay away from all of it.
It has been almost 8 moths now since I have left the girls school. I have made plenty of mistakes to get me back where I once started. But there is a flame in me that tells me you are strong and to keep going.

//..learn it:love it:ride it..//

//..learn it:love it:ride it..//

Thought I would throw my two

Thought I would throw my two cents worth in on how my daughter was "reformed". She has been out a total of 5 months, is married to a guy that was partly the reason for her being in the WGS, is pregnant, and now has a felony forgery charge on her. Where did we go wrong? So much for the "intense" therapy that I was told about when we first put her in. As far as I am concerned it was a very expensive high school diploma. Something has GOT to change up there. At this point, I would not recommend this program to anyone.

And this young lady isn't at

And this young lady isn't at all responsible for her own actions?

Gimme a break

I am sure that the WGS has several areas they can improve on. But you can't blame them for the fact that your daughter is now pregnant and facing felony charges. A program like that can only do so much. Where is your parent responsibility?

The Real Story

It's too bad that Mr. Fairbanks couldn't have been more honest in answering Kim's question as to why the census at WGS has fallen over the last 3-4 years. Could it be that the State no longer is willing to pay for long term treament of these young ladies and "encourages" the girls' school to turn them back out to the public much quicker so they can stop paying for their time. Sadly, they either then end back up in the state penal system or seek out additional public assistance that we all pay dearly for. Also, was the extreme low level of employee morale at the girl's school mentioned? Were the 2 opposite schools of thought in how to handle the girls by employees mentioned? Admittedly, these young ladies are remanded by the courts to be there, but I for one, think the return rate to a penal lifestyle by the girls who have been returned by the girl's school is much, much too high. It's shame that an institution that did such a wonderful job in helping those who needed help has fallen into such a state of dissrepair. Did you know that while the total number of girls served at any one time continues to drop, the construction of a new dorm in addition to a remodeling of another forges on despite lower available funds. It's time for a change for the better treament of our children. Sadly, the WGS isn't meeting that challenge.

" the girls' school to turn

" the girls' school to turn them back out to the public much quicker "

I would say the expectation is no longer there to have the girls perform at a higher standard.. We turn them out so they can go home and plug into a little more of brittney spears ? We dont need to be housing kids, parents need to be taking care of them...

reply

And if their parents don't take care of them? What then? I'm just saying that rather than turn back children with criminal records long before they could be considered reformed, we should put a more true, caring and effective effort into their lives.

Do you truley belive that

Do you truley belive that even if they complete a term at the school they leave "reformed" .. I'd like to know out of how many who complete a term do not end up as single mothers later on.. Being a single mother after a term is not reform .. Reform is not the job of the tax payer. IMHO

Term

Dillo,

No, I don't think that completing one term reforms the girls. It took much longer than that to get where they're at, and it will take longer than that to "reform" them. We may as well pay for their reform now (in total) than pay for them and the offspring you assume that will occur as a result of their not being reformed. True, there are many that will return to the system, but if we don't put forth our best effort to reform the children, we will never know how many could have made it. Unfortunately, IMHO, the WGS is not meeting this challenge.