Colorado Call to Action on House Bill 1208 — Juvenile Direct File

House Bill 1208: CONCERNING JUVENILES AGAINST WHOM CHARGES ARE DIRECTLY FILED AGAINST IN DISTRICT COURT

Background

Under current Colorado law, a district attorney has the power to charge a juvenile as young as 14 years old as an adult for certain crimes. This is known as “direct file”. If convicted in adult court, the juvenile is sentenced as an adult and, if incarcerated, will serve time in adult prison. In the past, before a juvenile could be charged as an adult, the juvenile court would have to conduct a “transfer hearing” to determine whether it was appropriate to charge the juvenile as an adult.

What HB 1208 does

· Raises the minimum age from 14 to 16 for juveniles that can be direct filed on into adult court.

· Would allow the adult court to conduct a “reverse transfer hearing” to determine whether the case should be tried in adult or juvenile court. If the judge determines that the case should be tried in juvenile court, then the case is transferred to juvenile court.

· Disqualifies certain crimes from being considered for direct file, including: vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. (these are defined in statute as acts of recklessness not intentional crimes)

· Permits the court to sentence a juvenile (charged as an adult) to the Youthful Offender System in the Department of Corrections for a Class 2 felony.

· Allows the adult court to sentence a juvenile to a juvenile sentence even if convicted in adult court if it is determined to be in the best interest of the child or community.

Upcoming Vote

HB 1208 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and will be voted on by all members of the House of Representatives on Friday morning. (3/7/08).

Sponsors

Representative Levy (with cosponsors: Carroll T., Green, Kefalas, Labuda, Merrifield, Weissmann, Benefield, Butcher, Carroll M., Jahn, Judd, Kerr Al, Madden, Marshall, and Solano)

Senator Shaffer (with cosponsors: Bacon, Gordon, Hagedorn, Morse, and Tapia)

This action alert comes from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association that has been leading the support of HB 1208.

Please call your House representative today and ask them to support House Bill 08-1208, Limitations on Direct File. WE PARTICULARLY NEED YOU TO CALL THE REPRESENTATIVES IN BOLD.

Please forward this email to anyone across the state that might be interested in supporting the bill. The state attorney general and prosecutors oppose the bill because they believe they should be the sole party making the decision –instead of a judge after a hearing where both sides present evidence– as to whether a kid is charged as an adult and they are pressuring the democrats hard. If you agree with this bill, we really need your support.

(CCJRC Note: HB 1208 has a number of cosponsors in the House in addition to Rep. Levy, the bill sponsor. If you contact one of the co-sponsors, please thank them for their support.)

Debbie Benefield (Dist. 29, Jefferson)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2950
E-mail: debbie@debbiebenefield.org

Alice Borodkin (Dist. 9, Denver)

Cap: 303-866-2910
E-mail: aliceborodkin@aliceborodkin.com

Bernie Buescher (Dist. 15, Mesa)

Cap: 303-866-2583
E-mail: bernie.buescher.house@state.co.us

Dorothy Butcher (Dist. 46, Pueblo)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2968
E-mail: dorothy.butcher.house@state.co.us

Morgan Carroll (Dist. 36, Arapahoe)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2942
E-mail: morgan.carroll.house@state.co.us

Terrance Carroll (Dist. 7, Denver)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2909
E-mail: terrance.carroll.house@state.co.us

Edward Casso (Dist. 32, Adams)

Cap: 303-866-2964
E-mail: edward.casso.house@state.co.us

Kathleen Curry (Dist. 61, Eagle)

Cap: 303-866-2945
E-mail: kathleen.curry.house@state.co.us

Mark Ferrandino (Dist. 2, Denver)

Cap: 303-866-2911
E-mail: mferrandino@yahoo.com

Randy Fischer (Dist. 53, Larimer)

Cap: 303-866-2917
E-mail: randyfischer@frii.com

Jerry Frangas (Dist.4, Denver)

Cap: 303-866-2954
E-mail: kjerryfrangas@earthlink.net

Sara Gagliardi (Dist. 27, Jefferson)

Cap: 303-866-2962
E-mail: sara.gagliardi.house@state.co.us

Rafael Gallegos (Dist. 62, Alamosa)

Cap: 303-866-2916- No email available

Gwen Green (Dist. 23, Jefferson)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2951
E-mail: gwyngreen@yahoo.com

Mary Hodge (Dist. 30, Adams)

Cap: 303-866-2912
E-mail: mary.hodge.house@state.co.us

Cheri Jahn (Dist. 24, Jefferson)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-5522
E-mail: cheri.jahn.house@state.co.us

Joel Judd (Dist. 5, Denver)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2925
E-mail: repjoeljudd@joeljudd.com

John Kefalas (Dist. 52, Larimer)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-4569
E-mail: john.kefalas.house@state.co.us

Andy Kerr (Dist. 26, Jefferson)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2923
E-mail: andy.kerr.house@state.co.us

Jeanne Labuda (Dist.1, Arapahoe)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2966
E-mail: replabuda@yahoo.com

Claire Levy (Dist. 13, Boulder)

SPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2578
E-mail: claire.levy.house@state.co.us

Alice Madden (Dist. 10, Boulder)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2348
E-mail: alice.madden.house@state.co.us

Rosemary Marshall (Dist. 8, Denver)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2959
E-mail: rosemary.marshall.house@state.co.us

Buffie McFadyen (Dist. 47, Fremont)

Cap: 303-866-2905
E-mail: mcfadyen2002@hotmail.com

Anne McGihon (Dist. 3, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-2921
E-mail: anne.mcgihon.house@state.co.us

Wes McKinley (Dist. 64, Baca)

Cap: 303-866-2398
E-mail: wes.mckinley.house@state.co.us

Michael Merrifield (Dist. 18, El Paso)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2932
E-mail: michael.merrifield.house@state.co.us

Karen Middleton (Dist. 42, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-3911
E-mail: karen@karenmiddleton.com

Cherylin Peniston (Dist. 35, Adams)

Cap: 303-866-2843
E-mail: cherylin.peniston.house@state.co.us

Jack Pommer (Dis. 11, Boulder)

Cap: 303-866-2780
E-mail: jack.pommer.house@state.co.us

Dianne Primavera (Dis. 33, Adams)

Cap: 303-866-4667
E-mail: dianneprimavera@yahoo.com

Joe Rice (Dist. 38, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-2953
E-mail: joe.rice.house@state.co.us

Jim Riesberg (Dist. 50, Weld)

Cap: 303-866-2929
E-mail: jim.riesberg.house@state.co.us

Andrew Romanoff (Dist. 6, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-2346
E-mail: romanoff@coloradohouse.org

Christine Scanlan (Dist. 56, Eagle)

Cap: 303-866-2952
E-mail: repscanlan@gmail.com

Judy Solano (Dist. 31, Adams)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2918
E-mail: judy.solano.house@state.co.us

John Soper (Dist. 34, Adams)

Cap: 303-866-2931
E-mail: john.soper.house@state.co.us

Debbie Stafford (Dist. 40, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-2944
E-mail: house40@comcast.net

Nancy Todd (Dist. 41, Arapahoe)

Cap: 303-866-2919
E-mail: nancy.todd.house@state.co.us

Paul Weissmann (Dist. 12, Boulder)

COSPONSOR

Cap: 303-866-2920
E-mail: reppaul@aol.com

The following organizations condemn statutes that allow juveniles be charged as adults without an individualized assessment and hearing:

Alliance for Children and Families American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Bar Association American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry

American Correctional Association American Probation and Parole Association

National Association of Counties Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators

American Youth Policy Forum Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice

National Parent Teacher Association National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Children’s Defense Fund National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Church Women United Child Welfare League of America

National CURE Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Coalition for Juvenile Justice Council for Children with Behavior Disorders

Covenant House Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Justice Policy Institute National Association of School Psychologists

National Youth Employment Coalition National Association of Social Workers

Society for Adolescent Medicine National Network of State Juvenile Justice Collaborations

National Mental Health Association National Collaboration for Youth

National HIRE Network Presbyterian Church USA

Physicians for Human Rights United Church of Christ and Witness Ministries

Juvenile Law Center National Juvenile Defender Center

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Opposes Charging Juveniles as Adults:

We bishops cannot support policies that treat young offenders as though they are adults… society must never respond to children who have committed crimes as though they are somehow equal to adults—fully formed in conscience and fully aware of their actions. Placing children in adult jails is a sign of failure, not a solution…

Additionally, the following people & organizations support HB 08-1208:

Colorado Children’s Campaign Colorado Association of Family and Children’s Agencies

The Arc of Colorado National Association of Counsel for Children

The Arc of Denver Colorado League of Women Voters

Colorado ACLU Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Dr. Delbert Elliot Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, Colo. Springs

Center for Safe Schools Angela Engel, Project Director, Children’s Action Agenda

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One response to “Colorado Call to Action on House Bill 1208 — Juvenile Direct File

  1. Pingback: Elevated Voices - Gov. Ritter Signs Restorative Juvenile Justice Bill

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