County Commission looking into partnership with Group Homes for a Day Reporting Center location

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Fremont County is working on a partnership with the Fremont County Group Homes to create a day reporting center for juvenile offenders to report to and learn at while under court order.

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s Melinda Cox approached the Fremont County Commission about the idea on Tuesday, noting that the farm house the county owns would be took costly to make work. JDAI was created after the Fremont County Detention Center stopped incarcerating juveniles.

Cox said the agreement that has been discussed would have her become a partial employee of the group home, not just the county. The group home would pay for 15 percent of her salary, provide her office space and space for classes. In exchange she would also be in charge of programming for the group home.

She said the plan includes some renovations to the existing group home to make the class space, but there is also in consideration a purchase of a larger facility in the Riverton area. Since she visits the group home every day, she believes it could improve her job as well.

“I’m really excited about this,” Cox said, adding that the group home’s board is supportive of the idea.

She said the partnership would be one step closer to consolidating the services that troubled youth must navigate.

Commission Vice Chairman Travis Becker asked how many people could be taught at the current space in Riverton. Cox said easily 10 could fit at the group home, but if the home’s plan to move to new facility worked out space would be virtually unlimited.

Commissioner Keja Whiteman said that if for some reason the partnership didn’t work out, the commission wouldn’t be out any resources but simply back to where things are now. She suggested a formal proposal be brought before the commission.

There was also discussion about how Cox would be able to transport the day reporting students, and whether that meant buying a new van or her earning her Commercial Drivers License so that she could use the county’s bus.