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Albany County Community Juvenile Service Board Planning Grant

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $131,000)

Albany County, Wyoming is seeking to advance the local continuum of care for justice-engaged youth by supporting better outcomes for youth and families by investing more resources in prevention and intervention programming across a community-based continuum of care to address the impact of incarceration on rural, low-income youth. Albany County is in south central Wyoming with a 2021 U.S. Census population estimate of 37,608, qualifying it as “rural.” While not racially or ethnically diverse, the City of Laramie has the highest poverty rate in the state at 23.9%.

The county has strong existing infrastructure to conduct a thorough community planning process identifying the assets and gaps in resources in the existing continuum of care. The apparent gap in services is between these two ends of the continuum “spectrum,” with the need to identify what specific needs are most important to address with future investments to improve outcomes for justice-engaged youth. Albany County does not have a juvenile detention facility or a psychiatric residential treatment program. Access to these facilities is limited in the State of Wyoming. In order to address the challenges in keeping youth in the community, Albany County currently relies heavily on its Single Point of Entry, juvenile diversion program services and existing Integrated Juvenile Treatment Program (IJTP). Between July 1st, 2022 and June 30th, 2023, Albany County referred 58 juveniles to diversion, 27 referrals to juvenile court, and 25 juveniles to adult court.

The proposed planning and assessment program will employ intentional community engagement, data collection and analysis and asset mapping strategies. Albany County will contract with an experienced team at the University of Wyoming to provide two doctoral students to share the 1.0 FTE role of “Continuum Coordinator” alongside a diverse Planning Council. The Planning Council will be composed of a variety of community stakeholders involved in the county’s juvenile justice system and meet regularly to conduct an OJJDP-supported community assessment and planning program with an emphasis on community engagement. The planning process will identify a set of strategies designed to reduce the number of youth referred to adult and youth courts based on the outcomes of the OJJDP-funded planning program. The resulting key program deliverable, the Local Care Plan, will be a comprehensive, well-supported and resourced plan for better outcomes for justice-engaged youth in Albany County with more treatment options between diversion and incarceration.

Date Created: February 16, 2024