Peg Trent was elected as the Albany County and Prosecuting Attorney in November of 2014 and sworn into office on January 5, 2015. Trent’s staff currently consists of 5 attorneys, 3 legal assistants, 3 victim witness advocates, and interns/externs from the University of Wyoming and the University of Wyoming College of Law. They prosecute criminals, work on behalf of victims, promote crime prevention, and represent the county civilly. The mission of the Albany County & Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is to provide quality legal representation to the County and its officials and to seek justice in prosecuting criminal offenses in order to protect the citizens of Albany County and preserve the rights of victims.
A Victim-Centered Approach to Prosecution
As prosecutor, Trent is committed to seeking justice on behalf of the citizens of Albany County. Trent’s office utilizes a victim-centered, team approach to prosecution. Trent understands the impact of crime and is dedicated to providing victims a strong voice in the criminal justice system through numerous efforts and initiatives implemented through the Victim Witness Program and local victim advocacy organizations. For successful prosecution, Trent encourages open collaboration and communication between law enforcement and all other supporting agencies.
Prosecuting Sexual Assault
Trent takes the prosecution of sexual assault seriously and has worked with local victim advocacy organizations to establish protocols for the collaboration of law enforcement, local victim advocacy organizations, and the hospital for a trauma informed approach of investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults.
Positive Youth Justice
Trent is passionate about how our youth are treated in Wyoming. Trent has been involved in improving legislation for the safety of youth including child abuse. Trent was also instrumental in establishing the Albany County Community Juvenile Service Board to establish, maintain and promote the development of juvenile services aimed at allowing early identification and diversion of children at risk of entry into the juvenile court system and preventing juvenile delinquency. Trent has worked with the Board and local organizations to develop protocols to provide alternatives in our community to the prosecution of juveniles in the criminal justice system. This collaboration has also resulted in the development of a child advocacy center for the forensic interviewing of children. Trent understands that earlier intervention with youth prevents more serious crimes being committed in the future. With any alternative, there must be accountability. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the crime rate in our county between the ages 19-25 and to support our youth’s development and productive community involvement. Trent fosters the coordination of information between child welfare agencies, law enforcement, and the school district to ensure effective responses to juvenile crime.
Trent believes in the effectiveness of alternative courts such as Drug Court and protecting the integrity of a Drug Court by ensuring accountability of participants and effective treatment modalities. Trent supports identifying offenders who should participate in the program and works with the team members of Drug Court on therapeutic approaches toward recovery and productive citizenship.
Addressing Mental Illness
Too often mental health patients are being processed through the criminal process for acts which are related to their mental illness. Trent believes our justice system should not criminalize mentally ill individuals, but instead should assist these individuals in getting the needed treatment and assistance while at the same time ensuring the safety of the community. Substance abuse often masks underlying mental illness. Frequently, after treatment, the individual is released back into the community where the process repeats itself. This process is extremely expensive to the taxpayers and heartbreaking to the families of the mentally ill individuals. The court system sees the same individuals; yet, too often, there is no intervention. Trent is working with local stakeholders to establish a point of responsibility to provide services prior to and after an emergency detention of a mentally ill individual.
As County Attorney, Trent is committed to providing responsive, comprehensive solutions to an expansive range of issues in our community. Trent fosters open communication and applies a direct client-focused and proactive approach in legally representing County Officials and Boards. Trent collaborates and fosters a sense of partnership with County Officials and Boards and offers options to help them make informed decisions to achieve the most successful outcomes for their office or board and the citizens of Albany County in the short and long term.
Prior to being elected the Albany County & Prosecuting Attorney, Trent served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Franklin County (Columbus, OH) Prosecutor’s Office for nearly 10 years, where she prosecuted murderers, sex offenders, and thieves. During her tenure with the Franklin county Prosecutor’s Office, she tried nearly 70 felony jury trials. In 2000, Trent moved to Laramie, Wyoming where Trent served as City Attorney for the City of Laramie, Wyoming for 4 years, and 3 years as a senior assistant attorney general representing the Wyoming Department of Family Services, the Wyoming Department of Corrections and the Wyoming Governor’s office. For 7 years, Trent owned and operated a general practice law firm representing and counseling local governments and boards including the Albany County Hospital District handling involuntary mental health commitments. For the past 14 years, Trent has taught courses at the University of Wyoming including local government law and criminal adjudication at the law school, and civil liability and criminal courts and process in the criminal justice program.
Trent received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1988; a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati in 1984 graduating cum laude; and an Associate in Applied Business in Legal Assistant Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 1982.
Trent is licensed to practice law in the State of Wyoming and Federal Court for the District of Wyoming. She is a member of the Wyoming State Bar Association, Albany County Bar Association, and American Bar Association. Trent serves on the board of the Wyoming Prosecuting Attorney’s Association and Wyoming Association of County Officials. Trent is appointed to the Juvenile Division of the Permanent Rules Advisory Committee for the Wyoming Supreme Court as well as the committee for Juvenile Jury Instructions with the Wyoming Children’s Justice Project. Trent also serves as a board member for the Local Government Law and Criminal Justice Section of the Wyoming State Bar.