Success in the 2017 Legislature!
Moving Justice for Youth in Colorado Forward with the Passage of Three Bills
This legislative session brought important improvements for justice-involved children in Colorado.  HB1329, a legislative response to the Bound and Broken report, passed into law.  This bill is focused on changing the culture at the Division of Youth Corrections in the following ways:
  • DYC's name will be changed to the "Division of Youth Services" and it's mission will be defined as rehabilitative;
  • The bill creates a pilot program led by an independent contractor in which DYS will test out a fully therapeutic and rehabilitative model of providing care to kids.  Within one year, the program will phase out use of any punitive restraints on kids other than handcuffs-no WRAP, pain compliance or leg irons-and will never use solitary confinement.  The bill provides for independent assessment of the pilot program's efficacy based on violence rates;
  • The bill increases transparency by requiring DYS to report publicly on use of force by staff members and gives community boards the right to access DYS facilities, including by speaking with staff and kids;
  • The bill provides for a comprehensive study by an independent consultant of DYS's physical management practices to compare them with best practices and to make recommendations for bringing DYS's policies and practices into line with best practices.
The lobbying and debate HB1329 engendered has created a legislative and public body that is aware of the problems in DYS, educated on national best practices and engaged in the process of transforming the Division.
HB1207 also passed this session.  That bill bans pretrial detention for 10-12 year-olds charged with nonviolent offenses.  This bill's passage signifies an increasing awareness by lawmakers about the significant negative effects of incarcerating kids.  Economists from Brown University and MIT concluded in 2013 that "in regressions with minimal controls, those incarcerated as juveniles are 39 percentage points less likely to graduate from high school and are 41 percentage points more likely to have entered adult prison by age 25 compared with other public school students from the same neighborhood."

HB1204 CJDC worked with the CCDB to pass this bill that makes it easier for the children of Colorado to expunge their juvenile records. The bill requires written notice of the right to expungement and of the expungement process to the juvenile. A prosecuting attorney cannot require as a condition of a plea agreement that the juvenile waive his or her right to expungement.  The bill requires the court to immediately and automatically expunge records: (1) upon a finding of not guilty at an adjudicatory trial; (2) upon dismissal of the entire case; or (3) after the completion of a juvenile sentence for a petty offense, drug petty offense, class 2 or class 3 misdemeanor, or level 1 or level 2 drug misdemeanor (that is not a sex offense, does not involve domestic violence, or is not a crime that requires victim notification).  A juvenile is eligible for expungement after completion of a sentence for a class 1 misdemeanor, a misdemeanor involving domestic violence, a misdemeanor involving unlawful sexual contact; or the dismissal after completion of juvenile diversion, a deferred adjudication, or an informal adjustment; or the adjudication of a first-time felony and the adjudicated felony is not a crime of violence, is not an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior, and is not a class 1 or class 2 felony. In this second, non-automatic category, the court must notify the prosecutor that the records are eligible for expungement, and the prosecutor must notify the victim.  If there is no objection, the court will enter an expungement order. If there is an objection, the court will hold a hearing and consider whether the juvenile is sufficiently rehabilitated and whether expungement is in the best interest of the juvenile and the community.
Special thanks to the CJDC policy committee for working so hard to ensure this bill passed! 

CJDC Welcomes Summer Interns!

CJDC's "Believe in Youth" program has two new 2017 AmeriCorps law student interns that started working with Adam at the end of May.  Hayley and John-Michael have already proven to be a valuable addition to our program by travelling to courthouses to collect records, holding intake appointments, and making follow up calls to former clients -- all in their first week! 

Throughout this summer they will help prepare petitions, motions, and memorandums to be filed with the court, observe hearings on the petitions we have filed, and attend a variety of events relating to our work. Hayley (who is student-certified to appear in court) will also be presenting oral arguments for a client at the end of June. Our internship program provides a unique learning experience for the students by providing them with attorney training and real-world experience in many aspects of client representation, along with a specific focus on juvenile justice issues in Colorado. 
Hayley Cumberland

My name is Hayley Cumberland and I am going into my 3L year at University of Wyoming College of Law. I have a passion for criminal law and defense, and I received my B.A. summa cum laude in Communications from Baylor University in 2014. When I get free time, I love to pamper my cat, work out, and paint.
John-Michael Sorokolit

My name is John-Michael Sorokolit, and I am going into my 3L year at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.  I am interested in going into public defense, and enjoy working with children.  I received a B.S. in Sociology from TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, and have always had the desire to help people.  I enjoy camping, things made out of wood and/or leather, and drinks with whiskey in them.
CJDC Visits Washington D.C. to Commemorate 50 Years of In re Gault 

May 15th marked the 50th Anniversary of In re Gault, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave children the right to counsel.  In celebration of this historic decision, Amanda traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the U.S. Supreme Court, join the National Juvenile Defender Center for their Gault at 50 Gala, and spend a day at Georgetown Law School for The Right to Remain Children: Race and Juvenile Justice 50 Years After Gault Symposium.
CJDC's Board of Directors is Growing! 

We are excited to welcome three new Board of Directors members to the CJDC team. Behind the scenes, CJDC's dedicated Board works hard to keep us moving forward; working diligently to assist in our key initiatives through committees that ensure CJDC meets its fundraising goals while implementing our strategic plan. To learn more about our key initiatives, visit us online HERE!

Please join us in welcoming our new Board of Directors members!

Jeff Cuneo, J.D., M.A.
Criminal and Juvenile Defense Attorney, The Cuneo Law Firm, LLC      

Priscilla Linsley, M.A.
President, KLA Associates     

Andrea G. Philleo, M.S., M.S.W., L.S.W.
Founder/Executive Director, Colorado Wellness Center for Girls

Access Denied: A National Snapshot of States' Failure to Protect Children's Right to Counsel
Released on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision In re Gault, the  National Juvenile Defender Center's new report  reveals that nearly every state falls short of its constitutional obligation to provide effective lawyers for youth. Based on statutory analysis and interviews with juvenile defenders in every state, the Snapshot exposes gaps in procedural protections for children - gaps that perpetuate the over-criminalization of youth, racial and economic disparities, and the fracturing of families and communities.

The Snapshot explores five fundamental barriers to access to counsel for children: Eligibility procedures that prevent appointment of a publicly funded attorney; fees charged to children for what should be a free public defender; appointment that happens too late in the process for children to receive strong representation; permissive waiver of counsel; and the stripping of young people's right to an attorney after sentencing. Download the full report HERE!
CJDC is Hiring a Contract Administrative Assistant

Under the supervision of the Program Manager of CJDC, this part-time position is responsible for the administrative support of the Access to Justice: Rural and Tribal Southwest Project.  The Access to Justice: Rural & Tribal Southwest Project is a grant program funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) designed to study juvenile defense representation in rural, remote, tribal, and under-served areas in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico (southwest region). See full job description HERE.

Essential Job Functions and Duties:
  1. Program Administrative Support (50%)
  2. Financial Operations (25%)
  3. Resource Center (20%)
  4. Other Job Duties (5%)
To apply, submit the following via email to by June 16, 2017 at 5pm
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Names and Contact Information for three (3) References
Save the Date for the 6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference!

CJDC and the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel are joining forces to offer another two -day, multi-track conference next spring.  Save the date and join us April 26th and 27th for next year's 6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference!  Stay tuned for more details as the dates get closer.

Juvenile Justice in the News

Stay up to date with these recent headlines on juvenile justice issues, policy, programs, and reform in the news.

This bill amends the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA) to modify and reauthorize juvenile justice programs and activities.
Specifically, it:
  • revises and reauthorizes through FY2022 programs and activities under title II of the JJDPA, including the State Formula Grant Program and the activities of the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP);
  • revises and expands the purpose areas of the JJDPA;
  • expands membership on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to include the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the Secretary of the Interior;
  • expands requirements for the OJJDP's annual report on juveniles in custody;
  • modifies the required components of a state's juvenile justice and prevention plan;
  • modifies the four core requirements with which a state must comply to receive a full allocation of funds under the State Formula Grant Program; and
  • repeals the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant program.

On Monday, April 25, 2017, Washington State's King County Council voted unanimously to require that youth in the custody of the department of adult and juvenile detention consult with an attorney before any custodial interrogation.

The legislation cites directly to J.D.B. v. North Carolina, and requires that the King County department of adult and juvenile detention obtain a court order before releasing a child in its custody to law enforcement, and that those children consult with an attorney before waiving any Miranda rights and before any custodial interrogation.

The May 1967 Supreme Court ruling that threw out Gerald Gault's six-year commitment for lewd remarks over the telephone has led to half a century of juvenile justice reform. And how to keep that momentum going for another half-century will be the focus when lawyers and other advocates for children facing lockup convene in Atlanta June 2 and 3.
Free Training & Technical Support 

As a Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) provider for the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), CJDC is one of two locations in the nation acting as a regional resource center for juvenile defenders.  If you are looking for training support, have a training need in your area, or in need of assistance in developing specialized CLE offerings for juvenile defense counsel, you can request assistance through OJJDP's TTA program HERE!  
Become a Member Today!

CJDC members receive monthly updates on local and national juvenile justice developments, discounts on our CLEs and the Colorado Juvenile Defense Manual, and assistance with juvenile justice inquires.

CJDC's annual membership is $100.  To become a member, click HERE to donate $100 online, and write "membership" in the special instructions box.  Or, to pay by check, mail to CJDC, 1245 E. Colfax Ave, Suite 204, Denver, CO 80218.  Please make checks payable to Colorado Juvenile Defender Center.  Thank you!

Thank You For Your Support!

Thank You to our Youth Justice Advocate Sponsors: The Cuneo Law Firm, Lindy Frolich, Stinson & Pagett LLC, Ann Roan, The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and Linda Weinerman & Sheri Danz on Behalf of the Office of the Child's Representative.