Home News Center NJJN Member Moves One Step Closer to Removing Direct-Filed Youth from Adult Jails in Colorado

NJJN Member Moves One Step Closer to Removing Direct-Filed Youth from Adult Jails in Colorado

February 28, 2012

juvneile-justice-reform_CJDC-bannerThe Colorado Juvenile Defense Coalition (CJDC), an NJJN member, has worked hard to reform Colorado’s direct file law, which gives prosecutors unilateral discretion to file charges against children in adult criminal court.

Now, it appears Colorado's lawmakers are listening: House Bill 1139, which would keep detained youth charged as adults in juvenile detention facilities instead of adult jails, has unanimously passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee -- its prospects for becoming law look very good.

CJDC objects to Colorado’s direct file law because it has resulted in:

  • Pre-trial confinement of children in adult jails.
  • Unchecked authority to prosecute children in adult court.
  • Mandatory sentencing and the burden of felony convictions.
  • Disproportionate impact on youth of color.

CJDC’s Upcoming Report, Redirecting Justice: The Consequences of Prosecuting Youth as Adults and the Need to Restore Judicial Review, goes into greater detail about why the laws are over-expansive and ineffective.

» Read Redirecting Justice—The Executive Summary.

 

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