Board of Charities & Reform
On July 10, 1890 the Board of Charities & Reform was established by the Wyoming State Constitution, Article 7, Section 18. Chapter 37, Session Laws of Wyoming, 1890-1891, enacted by the First State Legislature, set forth the duties and powers. The act determined that the state auditor, the state treasurer, and the state superintendent of public instruction would comprise the Board of Charities & Reform. In 1895, with the passage of chapter 34, Session Laws of Wyoming, the governor and the secretary of state were assigned membership on the board.
Duties were “such charitable, reformatory and penal institutions as the claims of humanity and the public good may require, shall be established and supported by the state in such manner as the legislature may prescribe.”
The board supervised and directed the management of all state institutions and was responsible for the maintenance and repair of all buildings and grounds. It dispensed all funds appropriated for the institutions and was empowered to “appoint and prescribe the duties of all institutional officers, and to remove them without cause.”
Additionally, the 1890-1891 law charged the Board of Charities & Reform to provide for the “care, maintenance and employment of all inmates or residents in any of the state’s institutions,” and stated that all institutions, including those already belonging to the Territory of Wyoming, were the property of the state falling under the supervision of the board.
The office of the Board of Charities & Reform was responsible for the daily management and supervision of the institutions on behalf of the board. The office was under the direction of the executive secretary, appointed by the board.