Basic services, 2022

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    Mostly state operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Wyoming's delinquency services are organized at both the state and local level.  Three secure detention centers are administered by county sheriff’s office, while one is owned by the Sheriff's office but contracted out and operated as a private facility.

The Division of Juvenile Services within the Department of Family Services (DFS), a state executive family and children services agency, administers probation through regional and county offices in most of the state. One municipal court (Casper Municipal Court) and two district courts (Campbell County Juvenile Probation Office in Gillette and Sweetwater County Probation Department in Green River) administer their own juvenile probation.

Commitments to state public facilities and reentry services for youth leaving those facilities are administered by the Division of Juvenile Services within the DFS.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Division of Juvenile Services within the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and reentry services for youth leaving those facilities.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor.

Statutory time limits for pre- & post-petition court diversions exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Wyoming's juvenile correctional facilities. Juveniles may be confined if they require protection from themselves or others but must be released when they demonstrate a credible commitment to keep themselves and others safe.  (Adapted from Wyoming Boys School Special Management Policy 3-E-13)

Note: Policies on solitary confinement in Wyoming juvenile correctional facilities were not included in the Lowenstein Center for Public Policy's 51 Jurisdiction Survey and were subsequently augmented by contacting juvenile justice officials in Wyoming.

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the Department of Family Services (DFS) are the responsibility of the committing courts. Release recommendations are made by the multi-disciplinary team within the Department for approval by the courts. Release decisions are subject to review of the committing court for further disposition.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

Juvenile probation services are administered at multiple levels in Wyoming, with municipal, county and circuit courts having the ability to establish separate juvenile court services. The state Department of Family Services (DFS) generally provides probation for the most serious offenders and has adopted the PACT assessment for case planning. DFS further provides the automation resource for the online PACT to any of the independent court services departments. The PACT is used to develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports, develop probation disposition recommendations, assign probation supervision level, develop probation case plans, and make custody recommendations.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT)

Mental health screening, 2014

Does not require a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening is not required.

Mental health screening tool used
Screening not required

Wyoming encourages the use of mental health assessment services. However both the state statute and the state juvenile justice plan are silent on a specific instrument. The Department of Family Services (DFS) administers state corrections and state-run aspects of community supervision. DFS doesn't apply a specific standardized screening approach for mental health in favor of a behavioral health clinic approach for all youth committed to DFS custody and psychological assessments when warranted.

Wyoming has a highly decentralized system of juvenile court jurisdiction and juvenile court services, with some counties and municipalities operating their own court services. Juvenile detention is also locally administered. Screening approaches vary across these jurisdictions, with no explicit state statute or regulation requiring the adoption of standardized mental health screening approaches.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Wyoming supports the implementation and expansion of research based programs and practices (EBPs) through the Department of Family Services, which administers juvenile corrections and state probation for jurisdictions that don't have municipal or county operated juvenile court services. DFS supports the use of the PACT risk assessment statewide and offers automation support and technical assistance for those jurisdictions wanting to use this EBP for risk/need assessment.

DFS relies upon Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) online guides, such as and the OJJDP model programs guide to identify EBPs. Further, state statutes establishing Community Juvenile Justice Service Boards helps to fund sound local planning of juvenile justice. EBPs are not specifically required, but the legislation nonetheless promotes a systems for central intake and assessment, diversion from secure detention, and diversion from formal intervention, including citations for minor delinquency offenses. There is no designated technical assistance. However, DFS in cooperation with the department of health and education administer block grant programs for the Boards to advance best practice and provide training and technical assistance on EBPs.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Does not publish recidivism consistently over time.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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