Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in May of 2019, a crucial step toward aligning the state’s juvenile justice system with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, strengthen public safety, and efficiently use resources. A result of the Improving Outcomes for Youth Initiative and led by The Council of State Governments Justice Center, the bill was designed to:
- Expand opportunities to divert youth from the juvenile justice system;
- Adopt and implement a validated risk and needs assessment tool to inform court decision-making and case planning;
- Limit the use of detention (pre-sentence incarceration) to only those juveniles who pose a public safety risk; and
- Develop statewide standards for juvenile probation supervision and services that align with research-based practices.