Colorado: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings (2012)

Coloradans have an abiding interest in ensuring that the justice system is not the dumping ground for failing schools, mental health systems, or parents who want the state to control their children. The justice system should be reserved for those youth who must be there. When youth do have the misfortune of coming into contact with the justice system, the system must ensure the protection of their legal rights. As the United States Supreme Court indicated long ago, good intentions alone are not a substitute for a proper system of juvenile defense and due process.

The judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government must work together with the public defense system, juvenile defense experts, and the community to build a modern and true juvenile defense system in Colorado. The time is now to improve this system and give it the attention it sorely lacks.

The Core Recommendations that follow represent the principal areas in which work is needed to improve both access to counsel and quality of representation for youth in the delinquency system. The Implementation Strategies derive from the Core Recommendations and provide more detailed suggestions to relevant state and local organizations and entities, including indigent defense leaders, juvenile defenders, other juvenile justice system stakeholders, and policymakers.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Assessment, Gault Center Publications, Resource Library
Tags: Access to Counsel, Quality of Representation, Youth Defense Systems