By Kelly Herbinson
Cheyenne, Wy – A national group is going to take a close look at juvenile detention facilities in Wyoming. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has initially approved Wyoming as a Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Site. This initiative aims to reduce the number of youths in jails and prisons by using more progressive modes of discipline. Alternatives include community service and home monitoring. Tony Lewis is the director of the Wyoming Department of Family Services. He says the foundation could provide funding to help intervene with troubled youth at the onset of the problem.
"Ultimately when communities can find ways to engage youth more constructively at those crisis points when they're getting into trouble, it's better for the community, it's much better for the kid."
Representatives from the Casey Foundation will travel to Wyoming this winter to discuss the needs of the state's juvenile detention facilities. The legislature and Wyoming communities will have to approve the initiatives before they're implemented.