In re Gault: 50 Years Later
Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that "under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court."  In re Gault recognized that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees children in juvenile delinquency proceedings the right to notice, to confront adverse witnesses and the right to counsel.  The Court noted that a delinquency proceeding is "comparable in seriousness to a felony prosecution and, accordingly, that a child haled into court must have "the guiding hand of counsel" at all stages of the proceedings.
Gault 's guarantee of competent counsel for children in delinquency proceedings is at the heart of CJDC's mission.  Only highly trained, dedicated juvenile defenders can prevent the "kangaroo courts" decried by the Court in Gault.  Acknowledging that juvenile defense is a complex and specialized area of criminal law, CJDC works to ensure that every justice-involved young person in Colorado has what Gault envisioned: "the assistance of counsel to cope with problems of law, to make skilled inquiry into the facts, to insist upon regularity in the proceedings, and to ascertain whether he has a defense and to prepare and submit it."
Help CJDC Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of  In re Gault !
Gault at 50 Symposium: What Difference Does a Lawyer Make?

A free afternoon symposium featuring Laura Nirider, counsel for Brendan Dassey whose case was featured in "Making a Murderer," a panel of formerly incarcerated youth, and Professor Robin Walker Sterling.  

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017 | 1-4 pm
Where: 1300 Broadway | Denver, CO 80203
CLE: 3 credits, including 1 ethics credit
Click HERE to register now!
Gault at 50 Celebration and Fundraiser!

Directly following the symposium, CJDC will be hosting a Gault at 50 Celebration and fundraiser where we hope to raise $10,000. Please help us reach our goal by joining us as an event sponsor. 

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017 | 4-6:30 pm
Where: 1300 Broadway | Denver, CO 80203
Cost: $40 in advance or $50 at the door
Click HERE to register now!

Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Youth Defender Couple SponsorshipFor $100, receive 2 tickets to the celebration and acknowledgment in CJDC's monthly newsletter. Click HERE to sponsor now!
  • Youth Justice Partner Sponsorship - For $250, receive 4 tickets to the celebration, your name or logo on CJDC's website and event poster, verbal acknowledgement in board remarks at event, and recognition in CJDC's monthly newsletter.  Click HERE  
    to sponsor now!
  • Youth Justice Advocate Sponsorship -For $500, receive 6 tickets to the celebration, your name or logo on CJDC's website and event poster, verbal acknowledgement in board remarks at event, name or logo on table display tents, and an ad (3 months) in CJDC's monthly newsletter. Click HERE to sponsor now! 
  • Youth Justice Champion SponsorshipFor $1,000, receive 8 tickets to the celebration, your name or logo on CJDC's website and event poster, verbal acknowledgement in board remarks at event, table space for organizational promotions and marketing to guests, and an ad (6 months) in CJDC's monthly newsletter.  Click HERE to sponsor now! 
  • Youth Justice Presenting Sponsorship -  For $2,500, receive 10 tickets to the celebration, your name or logo on CJDC's website and event poster, verbal acknowledgement in board remarks at event, table space for organizational promotions and marketing to guests, an ad (1 year) in CJDC's monthly newsletter, and "Presented By" on all event materials.  Click HERE to sponsor now!
Nominate an Outstanding Juvenile Defender for Juvenile  Defender of the Year!!
Fill out our nomination form  HERE and send CJDC a 1-2 page narrative summarizing why the person you are nominating is an exceptional juvenile defense attorney. Send via email to by April 7, 2017 The recipient will be chosen by the CJDC Board of Directors and the award will be presented at the Justice RISING luncheon on April 21, 2017 (more info below).

Expungement Bill Passes Out of House Judiciary Committee

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, House Bill 17-1204, a bill that simplifies the juvenile records expungement process by eliminating waiting periods and making certain expungements automatic, passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee!

Members of the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center Policy Subcommittee have been working with the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar on the bill. CJDC volunteer, Elise Logemann, and CJDC Equal Justice/AmeriCorp fellow, Adam Graber both testified in support of the bill.

HB 17-1204 goes to the Appropriations Committee over the next few weeks and will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee in late April. If you are interested in getting involved with the CJDC Policy Subcommittee, please email Hannah Proff at
CJDC is Accepting Applications for
Law Student Interns - Summer 2017

CJDC is seeking two law student interns to work with our "Believe in Youth" program this summer.  The interns will assist our Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps legal fellow in all aspects of the program, which will involve conducting client intake screenings, drafting and filing petitions, and attending court hearings pertaining to the removal of legal barriers to employment.  Our clients include indigent juveniles and adults with juvenile delinquency records, and the work will be focused mainly in the Denver metro area.

The position is not compensated, however, the interns will join the AmeriCorps JD Employment Opportunity Legal Corps (EOLC) program and will qualify for a $1,230 educational stipend at the completion of 300 hours of service over an 8-10 week period.  All applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited law school. Email Adam Graber at for more details about the positions and instructions on how to apply.

Register Now for The Early Bird Rate For The 5th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference!

When:  Friday, April 21, 2017
Conference: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Lunch: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Where:1300 Broadway | Denver, CO
Click HERE to register now! 

Today is the last day to register at the Early Bird rate.  Join us for a full day training and Justice RISING awards luncheon sponsored by the OADC and CJDC including presentations on advocacy surrounding the conditions of pre-adjudication confinement, trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences, language disabilities, effective communication, and identifying conflicts. We anticipate 4.5 General CLE credits and 1.5 Ethics credits.

9:00 -10:00
Listening with Intention: Trauma Informed Approaches to Adolescent Interviewing
Brian C. Gonzales, LCSW, LAC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Social Work - University of Denver

10:00 - 11:00
The Power of Telling your Client's Story Effectively
Matthew Taylor, Author, Professional Actor, Storyteller and Humorist
11:00 - 11:10

11:10 - 12:00
Identifying, Understanding and Explaining Trauma and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) in your Clients.
Kevin Bishop, LCSW, OADC Social Work Coordinator

LUNCHEON 12-1:30
Justice RISING Awards

An Examination of Bound & Broken, A Report by the Colorado Child Safety Coalition, and how to advocate for clients in pre-adjudication confinement.
Ann Roan, OSPD Training Director for Juvenile Defense and Complex Litigation 
Identifying Conflicts Based on Prior Representation
Darren Cantor, OADC Deputy Director
Stacie Colling, OADC Juvenile Defense Coordinator

Justice Rising Awards Luncheon
Join us for lunch and to honor our Juvenile Defender of the Year!

When:  April 21, 2017
Conference:  8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Lunch:  12:00 - 1:30 pm
Where: 1300 Broadway, Denver, CO
Register now by clicking HERE

Have a nomination for Defender of the year?  Send our   nomination form and a 1-2 page narrative summarizing why the person you are nominating is an exceptional juvenile defense attorney to by April 7, 2017 

Want to attend the luncheon, but can't make it to the Conference? 
The conference includes our Justice RISING Awards Luncheon. If you can't make it to the training, you can still register for the luncheon  HERE .

Upcoming Trainings and Events
CJDC Policy Committee Meeting

         April 12, 2017 at 11:00 am
        Platform T Coffee
        95 Lincoln Street
        Denver, CO 
Chained Voices Exhibition

Come see drawings, paintings, poetry, lyrics, sculpture and other creative artworks by artists now incarcerated in juvenile and adult facilities in Colorado.

When:   April 29, 2017 | 3 pm - 9 pm
             April 30, 2017 | 10 am - 2 pm
Where:  Art of Life Gallery
      800 Jason St | Denver, CO
Join the CJDC Board of Directors

The Colorado Juvenile Defender Center is seeking new board members to expand and diversify our nonprofit board. We are seeking individuals of any background, and are particularly interested in board members with accounting, financial, fundraising, board development, and grant writing skills.

The CJDC board meets monthly. Board members are expected to join (or chair) at least one CJDC committee, which meets monthly outside of the board meeting. Board members commit to volunteering 5-10 hours per month (including board and committee meetings). The board meets in person in Denver (but includes members who reside in other parts of Colorado, who sometimes participate in meetings by web).

If you are interested in joining the CJDC board, please email a statement of interest and your resume or CV to
. CJDC will reach out to potential candidates for an initial phone call, schedule coffee chats with candidates that seem like a good fit, and schedule a board interview for finalists.

Juvenile Justice in the News

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

Missouri does youth corrections the right way; it's past time for Colorado to do the same

Denver Post (opinion) -  CJDC released a report with the ACLU of Colorado, Disability Law Colorado, and the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, revealing a punitive and violent culture in DYC facilities.  Since the report was published, Representative Pete Lee has urged the Colorado legislature and DYC leadership to adopt a new piolet model like Missouri's (explored in the report) which would place an emphasis on caring, effective, non-punitive, relationship- based rehabilitative treatment for Colorado's youth.

Durango Herald -
  The Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center, located in Durango, CO sustained $100,000 in damages after a sprinkler broke and flooded over half of the building in late January.  "Students have been relocated 167 miles to Grand Junction or 272 miles to Pueblo while repairs are being made."  Repairs are scheduled to be completed and the facility reopened in April.

CU Boulder Today -  CU Boulder criminologist, David Pyrooz led and released a study looking at 1,336 adolescents over 7 years before, during, and after their time behind bars.  "This study suggests that there is probably not as much gang-joining happening in prison as we once thought, and that a lot of the problems are originating on the street and being brought into the system only to be further exacerbated by the institutional environment."
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!  
Support CJDC, Become a Member Today!

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!