Laramie, WY – This week, legislators plan to discuss helping counties set up local juvenile services boards. That could be a first step in changing how Wyoming deals with people under 18 who break the law.
The boards would use state funding to set up local programs that would try to intervene with lawbreaking youngsters before they get into more serious trouble.
Cheyenne State Senator Kathryn Sessions, a Democrat, says Wyoming is losing too many kids to prison.
Sessions is a member of the Joint Judiciary Committee, which expects to take up the draft bill on Tuesday. Juvenile justice reform has been one of the committee's top priorities since last year.
Wyoming is the only state that doesn't participate in the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, a 33-year-old federal law that says what authorities can and can't do when they lock up people under 18.