By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – Two bills that supporters hope will change how juveniles are handled in the criminal justice system have been signed into law by the Governor. One will develop standards for the types of facilities that are appropriate for housing juvenile offenders. The other creates statewide guidelines that will help officers determine where a child should be placed, if he or she is in custody. An advisor to the governor .Gary Hartman says the bill is an important step,
"We will begin to give the officers and the county attorneys some justification for making a rationale decision when a child is picked up and cannot be released to their parent or cited and released. So, with this criteria I think it is a step in the right direction and will make people focus on what type of kids actually belong in detention."
Many believe that too many children have been inappropriately jailed for minor offenses in Wyoming. Hartman hopes the new law will change that.