CJDC's commitment to children means that we are committed to building safe and inclusive communities where children can thrive. What happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12, is an affront to these commitments.

Hate victimizes children in particular. A culture that tells a child she is "less than" because of the color of her skin, her faith traditions, her gender identity or her socioeconomic status, shames and silences her. And children raised by adults who espouse  these loathsome views are programmed to view others with hostility and fear, rather than with love.

The legacy of our country's history of chattel slavery has reverberated across centuries. It has worn the face of Jim Crow, of convict leasing, of lynching, of the death penalty, of the so-called war on drugs, and of mass incarceration. In Charlottesville, its face was white people parading with tiki torches, chanting "Jews shall not replace us."

Donald Trump's shameful initial failure to condemn the Klan, Neo-Nazis and other extremist groups that call for turning our country into a white ethnostate was exacerbated by his later false statements that blame lay with "both sides," and his lamentations for the loss of what he called the "beautiful" monuments to slavery in the US. At a time of national crisis, our highest elected leader failed us all.

CJDC's mission is, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the resistance in Nazi Germany, "not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice; we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself." By relentlessly advocating for those young people the government wants to give up on and throw away, we are driving that spoke. By replacing fear with understanding and hate with love, we are driving that spoke. By working for institutional change and fighting to secure every child's right to dream of a better tomorrow, we are driving that spoke.

Charlottesville was a call to all of us to remember and honor the intensely political-and extremely vital-nature of our work. CJDC heard that call.
Become a CJDC Member Today!

Please consider supporting CJDC through an annual membership. Our members are central not only to helping us achieve our mission, but to the development of a vibrant community of juvenile defenders in Colorado and beyond.  Our members are an integral part of CJDC, and your support ensures progress towards our vision for a more equitable and just future.  

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.  Signing up is easy, simply visit our website HERE  and select your level of membership:
  • Attorney ($100)
  • Social Worker ($75)
  • First Year Attorney ($50)
  • Interns/Students (complementary)
2017 Juvenile Defense Manual Coming Soon! 

In 2013, we published the first Colorado Juvenile Defense Manual which included 26 chapters
on topics ranging from first appearance to school interrogations to special education. In 2015, we added 129 pages of information, including new chapters on expungement, sex offender registration and deregistration, and school discipline cases.  It is time to update the manual once again!


Many thanks to the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), our manual co-sponsors who are working hard to make a 2017 release possible!
Community Events and Training
RTD Youth Transit Pilot Project

The City and County of Denver is partnering with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to gain a better understanding of the transportation needs for Denver youth.  1,500 Denver high school students, ages 14-18, will be provided with a MyRide Smart Card preloaded with bus/rail fare, which can be used for all regular RTD bus rides, Call-n-Ride, SkyRide and rail services.  

Find out more about the RTD Youth Transit Pilot Project HERE!

LYRIC Volunteer Training

October 20, 2017

Learn the intricacies of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments, earn 2 CLE credits, and make an active difference in a young person's life.

Interested? Join the LYRIC mailing list by emailing
Juvenile-Specific Training for OADC Contractors in Rural Colorado

The Colorado Office of Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) is working hard to bring juvenile defense training to its contractors in rural areas of Colorado this fall.  

Please contact Stacie Nelson Colling, Juvenile Coordinator for more information.  Stacie can be reached via phone at 303-515-6933 or via email at

Rural Experience: Opioid Crisis in the San Luis Valley

November 1-3, 2017

As a part of continuing efforts to bridge the resource gap in rural Colorado, the Community Resource Center is launching the Rural Experience. This is a new opportunity for statewide leaders to learn from and engage with rural community members most affected by the opioid and addiction crisis in the San Luis Valley and Southern Colorado more broadly.  The issue was selected as particularly relevant and timely, framing growing national concern for rural community health.   

Registration opens Wednesday, September 6, visit the CRC website to find out more 

6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference

April 26-27, 2018
Ralph Carr Judicial Building
1300 Broadway, Rm. 1D
Denver, CO 80203

The Colorado Juvenile Defender Center, the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, and the Colorado Office of the Child's Representative are joining forces to offer a two-day, multi-track conference (including a specialized Juvenile Training Immersion Program track). Save the date and join us for our 6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference!  Stay tuned for more details as the dates get closer.

Questions?  Contact CJDC at 303.435.7232 or
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!  
King Soopers Neighborhood Rewards
Everyone needs groceries, right?
The King Soopers Neighborhood Reward Program is an easy way to support all the efforts of the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center. Simply use your re-loadable card at any Kings Soopers and when our total purchases reach $5,000, 5% (or $250) will be donated to CJDC! There is no cost to you. 

Please email us to acquire your card at Thank you for your support!
Resources & Juvenile Justice in the News

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

"To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer" -- The American Bar Association releases a report outlining Practical Recommendations For Positive Change.

"On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Senate approved S. 860, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes, updates, and improves the 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)."
What Has CJDC Been Up To in 2017?

This legislative session brought important improvements for justice-involved children in Colorado with the passage of three important bills: 
  • HB1329, a bill focused on changing the culture at the Division of Youth Corrections.
  • HB1207, which bans pretrial detention for 10-12 year-olds charged with nonviolent offenses.
  • HB1204, a bill that makes it easier for the children of Colorado to expunge their juvenile records.

CJDC is committed to serving as a resource center for juvenile defenders through publication of reports and resources:
  • Bound and Broken,a report on how DYC'S Culture of violence is hurting Colorado Kids and what to do about it.
  • NEW 2017 Colorado Juvenile Defense Manual, we are working hard with our partners at OADC to update the Juvenile Defense manual. We expect the 2017 edition to be published this fall!

Training & Events
CJDC strives to elevate the practice of juvenile defense and advocacy, by holding up juvenile defense as a skilled specialty practice, presenting continuing legal education seminars, developing resources and materials for juvenile defenders and advocates, and by supporting indigent defense through ongoing litigation support and assistance.
  • Gault at 50 Symposium: What Difference Does a Lawyer Make? In April, we offered 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. 
  • 5th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference. This spring, we  offered a full day of CLE credits at our annual conference. Topics included defending juveniles in sex offense cases, addressing trauma and language disabilities, effective oral advocacy, and ethics.
We Believe in YOUTH!
CJDC offers free legal services in juvenile record expungement and deregistration though our "
Believe in Youth" program. We help clients with expungement petitions to clear their record, and file de-registration petitions to remove them from the sex offender registry.  Between June 2016 and June 2017, the Believe in Youth
 project has:
  • Served 107 people
  • Had 47 petitions granted for expungement or deregistration
  • Had at least 15 clients find or improve employment after their record has been cleared
  • Assisted clients with correcting their records, and in avoiding additional charges for failure to register
Thank You!

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 and Sheri Danz on Behalf of the Office of the Child's Representative for your continued support of CJDC and our programs.