“Putting children in confinement should be a last resort, not a first option,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “These policy recommendations are data-driven, practical proposals that will improve our state’s juvenile justice system. I commend the task force and urge lawmakers to consider these measures in the next legislative session.”
Youth Media Clips
New policies are in line with the Colorado Department of Human Services’ “two-gen” philosophy, a modern tenet of social reform focused on targeting two generations for better outcomes.
Governor Brown also signed SB 439, which excludes children age 11 and younger from juvenile court jurisdiction to promote the rights, health, and well-being of the child by curbing premature exposure to incarceration.
The state Juvenile Justice Commission has seen its share of young inmates committed to its facilities fall 85 percent since 2003, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said during a graduation ceremony at the New Jersey Training School in Monroe Township.
Teens are often moody due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty, and when mental health issues become involved, it can be difficult to discern “normal teenage behavior” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional troubles.
Children will be rerouted to alternatives through the state’s Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services, a network of providers charged with providing around-the-clock emergency services for at-risk youth. Those alternatives may include mental health care, crisis stabilization plans or placement in a shelter or foster home.
NOMADstudio, a traveling art bus that provides art supplies and lessons to underserved youth throughout the Tampa Bay region, came to the Pinellas County Juvenile Detention Center facility as part of Good Moves: A Caravan of Sharing.
As with adults, when a kid is declared incompetent to stand trial, the state can detain him while trying to improve his mental functioning and knowledge of court procedures. But while California law limits the amount of time adults can be confined—often in hospitals—during this process, no such cap exists for children, who are regularly held in juvenile hall instead
At first glance, Crossroads looks like many other imposing, foreboding jails for juveniles around the country. But a walkthrough is enough to suggest a different possibility—that of a place where young offenders are given a chance to build on the time they’re forced to spend away from the home, while still being able to be what they are: children.
In mid-May, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann launched a pilot program that could change the way the city handles some young adults charged with crimes. The city’s first ever pre-file diversion program is designed to help young people escape the consequences that accompany a criminal record, like the difficulty securing financial opportunities, finding housing, gaining employment and sometimes even the right to vote.