CJDC Welcomes Three New Board Members
Apryl Alexander
Please join CJDC in welcoming three new board members.  We are excited to have all three talented individuals join our community.

Apryl Alexander, Psy.D., is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Denver, Graduate School of Professional Psychology.  She has worked with juvenile justice-involved youth, including incarcerated juveniles.  She is an accomplished researcher and brings a passion for juvenile justice policy to the board.


Monica Lopez
Monica Lopez  is an established union and political organizer.  She is committed to social and economic justice and has a profound understanding of the collective bargaining process.  She is a parent of a justice-involved youth, bringing a unique and needed perspective to the organization.  She genuinely wants to help other families and parents who are experiencing the state's juvenile justice system.




Holly Gummerson
Holly Gummerson is a practicing attorney with her own law firm, Gummerson Law Office, where she represents youth in juvenile and direct file cases.  She was previously a Deputy Public Defender in the Jefferson County office, where she specialized in juvenile representation.  She is currently a member of the Colorado Women's Bar Association and chair of the Juvenile Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. 
2019 Juvenile Policy Legislative Successes
Reps. Gonzales-Gutierrez and Michaelson Jenet watch Governor Polis sign the bill to strengthen protections for youth during custodial interrogations into law 
HB 19-1315 - the "Admissibility of Statements by a Juvenile" bill was signed by the governor on May 28, 2019.  This bill was championed by CJDC Board Member Ann Roan, who testified on behalf of the bill.  Under the bill, if an issue concerning the adult's adverse interest is raised, the prosecution must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the person conducting the interrogation reasonably believed that the adult did not have an interest adverse to the juvenile and helped safeguard the juvenile's constitutional rights to remain silent or obtain counsel during the interrogation.
 
SB 19-108 - the "Juvenile Justice Reform" bill was passed out of both houses of the Colorado Legislature on May 17, 2019 and currently the Governor's signature.  This bill came out of the Improving Outcomes for Youth Task Force, of which our very own Jeff Cuneo was appointed to by then-Governor Hickenlooper.  Designed to produce consensus between the disparate parts of the juvenile justice system, the bill, far from perfect, did make substantive, important changes to diversion, detention, and DYS sentencing, among others. Amon g other things, the bill would:
  • Adopt an evidence-based tool to determine risk levels of juveniles entering the system, which in turn would be used by the court at sentencing as well as the probation department and the Department of Youth Services when evaluating need for services;
     
  • In diversion, require the use of an evidence-based screening tool and mandate the collection of data to inform future policy decisions;
     
  • Develop and adopt an evidence-based detention screening tool, which would ensure clear criteria for detention and allow detention in limited, enumerated circumstances.

HB 19-1335 - the "Juvenile Record Expungement Clean-Up" bill was signed by the governor on May 28, 2019.  The bill made changes and clarifications to the juvenile record expungement provisions. Among other things, the bill clarifies when a sentence is complete, which triggers the expungement process. The bill allows class 2 and class 3 misdemeanor sex offenses to be expunged. The bill requires the juvenile court to determine whether a juvenile who has his or her record expunged for a sex offense should have a continuing duty to register as a sex offender. The bill clarifies to whom the notice of expungement needs to be sent so that only the agencies with the records receive the notice.  The bill makes clear that juvenile record expungement applies in municipal court by creating a new section for municipal court expungement.
CJDC Files Amicus Brief in Howard v. People

On May 9, 2019, CJDC filed an amicus curiae brief in Howard v. People.   The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel also joined CJDC's argument that Colorado's transfer statute violates the constitutional equal protection guarantee because it requires a court to sentence a child convicted as an adult of a crime of violence to  harsh, mandatory prison sentences.   Kids who are convicted as adults following a direct file in district  court are not subject to these same sentencing provisions.  Citing the disproportionate impact on kids of color, who make up the majority of youth in Colorado's adult prison system, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court's recognition that kids are less blameworthy and more capable of reform than adults, due to their neurological immaturity, the brief urges the Colorado Supreme Court to invalidate the transfer statute's  mandatory prison sentence requirement.  The brief reminded the Court that  "No child is a finished product, every child has the potential to be redeemed, and if given the opportunity many will accomplish great things."
 
Arguments in Howard will be set in the next several months.  Check back for updates on this important juvenile case.
CJDC Enamel Pins NOW AVAILABLE!
 
We released our brand new JUSTICE FOR YOUTH enamel pins at this year's Celebration and Fundraiser!  Now's your chance to show your support and add a little flair to your wardrobe while you are at it!  

Order JUSTICE FOR YOUTH pins for you and all of your favorite colleagues today!  Pins feature a 3/4" hard enamel lapel pin, plated lettering, and a butterfly backing.  $8.00/pin.

De-criminalizing Childhood, One Case at a Time

In May, CJDC's "Education First" initiative helped Daniel, an elementary school student in Denver Public Schools.  Working with Daniel's mother and grandmother, CJDC staff helped write a new Individualized Education Plan; one that considered his past trauma, emotional dysregulation, and academic prowess.  The new plan puts Daniel in a better position to attain academic success and ensures school staff knows, understands, and effectuates interventions that allow Daniel to flourish socially and emotionally.
It's Easy to Support CJDC All Year Long

CJDC is proud to partner with Community Shares of Colorado in workplace giving campaigns. Making charitable donations via paycheck contributions is a convenient option that allows incremental gifts to add up over the course of a year.

A paycheck contribution of $1 a day - $5 each work week-adds up to a $260 annual donation! That would allow us to file 21 amicus briefs in support of youth appealing their cases, publish our resource center newsletter for three months, or hold a two-hour training for juvenile defense attorneys who represent Colorado youth in court.

Do you have an employee giving campaign at work? If yes, please choose CJDC as the recipient of your workplace giving pledge. If your company hosts workplace giving fairs and presentations, request CJDC be a featured nonprofit! If Community Shares is not included in your giving campaign, email  giving@cshares.org to discuss adding more diversity and choice to your campaign.

If you don't have an employee giving campaign, let your HR or Community Investment contact know you want to support CJDC through Community Shares.  Contact Community Shares to help you start a campaign at giving@cshares.org or 303.861.7507

Workplace giving is a great way to support CJDC, our Community Shares number is 5214.