Jeremy is an eighth grader with autism who was facing expulsion and delinquency charges due to a playground fight over a game of tetherball.  Jeremy and his family were in a difficult situation. In order to comply with the juvenile diversion program, Jeremy had to stay in school--but his home school was seeking expulsion.  CJDC's lawyers successfully defended Jeremy at the expulsion heading and filed a complaint  to protect his civil rights as a disabled child with the Colorado Department of Education.
Thanks to CJDC's Education First program, Jeremy is back at school in his home district and on track to complete diversion.    Jeremy's is one of the many children CJDC helped during 2019.   CJDC represented over 40 children in school suspension, expulsion and special education proceedings in 2019.
As part of our Believe in Youth program, CJDC filed over 100 deregistration and expungement petitions in 2019. With our help, fewer young people face barriers in education, employment and housing due to their mistakes in youth. 

CJDC seeks to double our direct representation for 2020, but we need your help and financial assistance. Please donate to CJDC to help us reach our goal of raising $10,000!   We are asking you to make a donation on  Colorado Gives Day , so that CJDC staff continues to ensure excellence in juvenile defense and justice for all children in Colorado. 
Colorado Gives Day  is Colorado's largest day of giving. Join us on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 when thousands of people come  together to support Colorado nonprofits like the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center

CJDC Bids Farewell to Long-time Board Member Pat Vance

CJDC's Board of Directors is sad to announce that Pat Vance is leaving his position as a board member on the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center. His presence on the board will be sorely missed by his fellow board members, CJDC staff, and the Colorado Juvenile defense community. As a founding and long-time member of CJDC, Pat has contributed his deep knowledge of juvenile defense, an abiding devotion to the mission of the CJDC, and willingness to spend countless hours in support of that mission.

The Board of Directors and Executive Director recognize and thank Pat Vance for his service to the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center. One of the kindest persons we know, it was always a great pleasure and honor to serve with Pat, to co-counsel with him on juvenile and criminal cases, and simply to know him. He is a person of great integrity, loyalty and we wish him all the best as he embarks on his next adventure of retirement!
De-criminalizing Childhood, One Case at a Time

A member from the CJDC board was contacted directly by the YOS Parent Association for some assistance with their children.   While CJDC doesn't normally deal with issues in the Youthful Offender System, this call for assistance was definitely on CJDC's radar as it affected children that had received YOS sentences as a result of direct filings.  The three youth were being held in segregation as a result of an incident that occurred at YOS where a youth unfortunately passed away while in custody.  YOS began an investigation beginning with the youth who were housed at the time of the incident.  These youth were interrogated on at least two occasions and placed into segregation without any further explanation.   These  youth were facing revocation of their sentences and impositions of 16 plus years in the Department of Corrections, having already served the majority of their sentences. 
They were initially sent to a separate facility meant to segregate youthful offenders for short periods of time to deal with behavioral issues as a short term punishment.  However, because nobody was being held accountable, by the time the YOS Parent Association had contacted CJDC, the youth had been sitting in segregation for nearly four months.  Despite their repeated attempts and requests for more information, the youth were receiving absolutely no answers.  Because of the diversity of locations CJDC represents, an attorney in Pueblo was available to answer the call for help and visit with these three youth within a few days of the request.  
This attorney confirmed with the District Attorney's office that there would be no charges against these youth, and placed a call to the Warden of YOS which was left unreturned, but the youth were returned to YOS population only two days after the attorney visit.  The youth are now looking forward to moving to the next phase of their sentences and completing their stay at YOS. 
CJDC/OADC Immigration Consequences CLE

Thursday, December 5, 2019
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Denver CO & Webinar

During this training, Hans Meyer and Ashley Harrington will explain the different immigration consequences of adult convictions, juvenile adjudications, and contact with the criminal justice system.  They will then describe relief available to juveniles, both in immigration court and in affirmative applications.  Finally, they will update attendees on changes to immigration law, policy, and enforcement under the current administration and its impact on juveniles in the justice system. 
CJDC/OADC Detention Advocacy after the 2019 Juvenile Justice Reform Bill CLE

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Denver CO & Webinar

In 2019, the Juvenile Justice Reform Bill significantly changed the standards for detaining children.  Recognizing the harm caused to children by detention, it made clear that detention should be a last resort and only used when absolutely necessary for the safety of the community.  Attendees will learn about the statutory changes such as the removal of "danger to self" as a reason to detain a child, changes to risk screening procedures, and areas of litigation surrounding the new law.
8th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference 

Save the date for our 8th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference scheduled for April 23 and 24, 2020 in Denver!

Our 2020 conference is one for books with a comprehensive agenda boasting topics ranging from ethics, to sentencing advocacy, sex offense cases, direct file and transfer, working with experts, education advocacy and beyond.  

Co-sponsored by CJDC, OADC, OCR, and OSPD, the 8th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference has a little something for everyone with four breakout tracks and two full days of CLE/CPDH!  Mark your calendars - e arly registration opens in January! 
2020 CJDC Celebration and Fundraiser

Our   2020 Celebration and Fundraiser will be held in the Atrium of the Colorado Supreme Court from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, April 23, 2020.   We anticipate over 1 0 0  attendees, including attorneys, legislators, community organizations and agencies with outreach to thousands more.  We invite you and   your organization to sponsor our reception and join us for an evening of heavy hors d'oeuvres, libations, and award  presentation for the 2020 Juvenile Defender, Social Worker,  Investigator,  and Volunteer of the year.  Ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities available in January!