Help ensure justice for all children in Colorado.  Support CJDC on Colorado Gives Day 12.5.17 #WeBelieveinYOUTH

In February, CJDC, with the ACLU of Colorado, Disability Law Colorado, and Office of the Colorado State Public Defender published  "Bound and Broken," a report based on interviews with 21 young people incarcerated in the Department of Youth Corrections (DYC) and a review of over 1,000 pages of internal DYC documents, videos, and medical reports. "Bound and Broken" concluded that DYC staff used physical pain, isolation and verbal degradation against vulnerable young people, most of whom suffer from past abuse and mental illness.

CJDC also worked closely with the legislature to pass Colorado's 2017 HB1329 -- a legislative response to "Bound and Broken." HB1329 is focused on changing the culture at DYC in the following ways:
  • DYC's name will be changed to the "Division of Youth Services" and its 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.
Please consider supporting CJDC in fighting for Colorado youth.  A #COGivesDay contribution of $20, $35, $50 or more will help us continue this critical work in 2018.

6th Annual Excellence in
Juvenile Defense Conference

Join us April 26-27, 2018 at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in Denver
We are partnering with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) and the Colorado Office of the Child's Representative (OCR)  to bring you another two-day, multi- track  
Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference on April 26th and 27th, 2018!

Session topics will include:
  • Challenging Client's Statements  
  • Competency
  • Defending Juvenile Sex Cases
  • Direct File and Transfer Cases
  • Education Advocacy 
  • Expungement and Deregistration
  • Immigration
  • Implicit Bias
  • Placement Advocacy
  • Raising Race
  • Role of Counsel
Early Bird registration is now OPEN!  Click HERE to reserve your spot today.
Resources for Youth Justice Advocates

"this technical assistance bulletin provides the steps necessary to implement a School Responder Model in order to keep kids with behavioral health needs in school and out of court." 

Clean Slate Clearinghouse Website (2017) this website is "meant to expand access to record clearing.  The site has numerous goals, including: (1) summarizing record clearing law for each state, to assist new advocates and laypeople; (2) providing advocates with legal and other resources; and (3) identifying organization at which people with records can seek advice and representation." 

ToolKit: How to Push Back Against Harmful Media Narratives About Youth of Color (2017) this toolkit "aims to provide advocates guidance on how to identify harmful media narratives, build relationships with media professionals, and hold the media accountable for its reporting."

School-Wide Restorative Practices: Step-by-Step (2017) the Denver School-Based Restorative Practices Partnership published a step-by-step guide for schools to implement restorative practice models.    

Native Disparities in Youth Incarceration Fact Sheet (2017) this fact sheet by The Sentencing Project "separates out placement rates for Native American youth compared to white youth by state and show how disparities have changed since 2001."

Youth Homelessness Fact Sheet (2017) NJDC "published this fact sheet on youth experiencing homelessness to provide defenders context and understanding of the issue, tips for how to identify youth who are experiencing unsafe or unstable housing."

Latino Disparities in Youth Incarceration Fact Sheet (2017) this fact sheet by The Sentencing Project "separates out placement rates for Latino youth compared to white youth by state and show how disparities have changed since 2001."

Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America (2017) this report "summarizes the results of a national survey that estimates the percentage of United States youth, ages 13 to 25, who have experienced unaccompanied homelessness at least once during a recent 12-month period." 

Access to Juvenile Justice Irrespective of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Benchcard (2017) this benchcard is aimed at "ensuring fair and just treatment for LGBTQ-GNC people in juvenile court.

Colorado Juvenile Defense Manual (2018) this manual is designed to guide the practitioner through the law and the special considerations in defending a juvenile client, both in delinquency and criminal court. The 3rd edition of the manual (2018) will introduce myriad updates on case law and legislation across its 28 expansive chapters.
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 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.