City, county pass MOU agreeing to split juvenile corrective services

The main entrance of City Hall
Gillette City Hall (File Photo)

GILLETTE, Wyo.— The city and county have approved a memorandum of understanding that evenly dividing operational control for juvenile corrective services between them.

With the approved MOU, the city now has control of community service supervision while the county has chosen to take on operational control of the juvenile diversion program with both entities receiving juvenile offenders from within the municipal and district court system.

The shift in responsibility is a necessary move due to budgetary concerns and is a break away from how juvenile corrective services have been managed for decades, according to City Administrator Hyun Kim.

“This is something we’re trying out from a standpoint of saving tax dollars,” Kim said during the Gillette City Council’s meeting on July 5. “We’ll probably look at this from an annual basis to see if this is sustainable.”

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The MOU shows a great working collaboration between the county and the city that has been in place for decades, according to Jim Lyon, director of juvenile services for Campbell County, adding that it was a logical move in delegating duties and responsibilities for juvenile corrective services.

Prior to the MOU, the workload shared by the city and county was not an even split, Lyon told the Campbell Commissioners during their July 6 meeting, with the bulk of the cases handled by a county-employed community service supervisor coming from municipal court.

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Evening the workload was a request made by the city with the conversation beginning at the end of 2021, according to Kim, who said in December of 2021 according to Kim, who praised the county and diversion office’s willingness to come to a solution.

Senior Diversion Officer Erica Wood said her office is very thankful for the opportunity to compromise and to work through a solution deemed acceptable by both the city and the county.

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“We all have received budgetary constraints in both entities,” Wood said on July 5. “It’s kind of nice to come up with some common ground and be able to find some solutions.”

Both the city and the county voted to approve the MOU on July 5, and July 6, respectively.

View the MOU below: