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OJJDP FY 13 Nonparticipating State Program: Wyoming

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OJJDP's State and Community Development Awards program was established to provide grants and cooperative agreements to organizations that OJJDP has selected for funds in prior years. This program has been authorized by an Act appropriating funds for the Department of Justice.

Wyoming has chosen not to participate in the Formula Grants program under Title II, Part B of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (JJDP Act). As such, the state is ineligible to receive the FY 2013 Title II Formula Grants program allocation. Accordingly, OJJDP is competitively awarding the state's allocation through the Nonparticipating State Program: Wyoming.

Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOANR) aims to bring Wyoming into compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 (JJDPA). Wyoming is currently the only state that chooses not to participate with the JJDPA formula grants program, and it is out of compliance with three of the four core requirements of the JJDPA. Even so, the state has continued to reduce the number of juvenile offenders held in secure confinement. In addition, Wyoming moved closer to attaining the standards outlined in the JJDPA. The requested grant funds will support and enhance these efforts by promoting standardized data collection, by sustaining cost-effective interventions such as diversion programs, and by providing for the use of appropriate secure detention when necessary.

Based on data that VOANR has collected, Wyoming has decreased its use of secure detention for juvenile offenders by 26% from 2009 to 2011. The number of violations of the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) core protection decreased by over 73% during this same period of time, while the number of violations of the Separation core protection dropped by 48%. The number of violations of the Jail Removal core protection decreased as well, dropping by nearly 46% from 2009 to 2011. Wyoming contends these are impressive given the fact that the juvenile population (ages 0 - 17 years) actually increased by 3.7% during this same period of time.

Despite these positive developments, significant issues remain. Even though Wyoming is in compliance with the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) core protection, it is out of compliance with the remaining three core protections. Despite these obstacles, VOANR continues to engage leadership around the state in conversations regarding juvenile justice issues. State and county officials have been willing to participate in these discussions, and VOANR will build upon the foundation established over the course of the past five years.

Date Created: December 29, 2012