Colorado Rights Blog

Reform Division Of Youth Corrections

Bill Number: HB17-1329
Year: 2017
ACLU Position: Active Support
Sponsors: P. Lee (D)/ L. Landgraf (R)


The bill renames the division of youth corrections the division of
youth services (division) and makes conforming amendments. The bill
sets forth the purposes of the renamed division.
The bill creates and requires the division to implement a pilot
program to initiate a cultural change within the division. The bill creates
a cash fund and authorizes the division to seek, accept, and expend gifts,
grants, or donations for the pilot program.
The bill requires the department to contract with an independent
third party to facilitate, supervise, coach, and train staff and leadership of
the division throughout the pilot program. The bill requires the division
to contract with a second independent third party to evaluate the
effectiveness and outcome of the pilot program.
The bill creates community boards in each region of the division,
requires a management-level employee from each division facility to
attend community board meetings, and requires a representative of the
division to report to each community board quarterly.
Current law requires the state department of human services
(department) to report annually to the general assembly data concerning
recidivism rates of youths committed to the custody of the department.
The bill requires the department to report data concerning educational
outcomes as well as recidivism rates, and the bill requires the state auditor
to audit these reports for accuracy and quality.
The bill renames the youth seclusion working group the youth
restraint and seclusion working group, adds a member to the working
group, expands the role of the working group to include advising on the
use of restraints, requires the division to report to the working group
concerning its use of restraints and seclusion, and requires the division to
include in its reports an incident report or behavior management plan for
any youth whom the division isolates from his or her peers for more than
8 hours in 2 consecutive calendar days.
The bill requires the division to document and report certain items
relating to the use of restraint as well as the use of seclusion.
The bill states that an attorney for a juvenile who presents the
division with a valid release-of-information request is entitled to all
records, including documents and video recordings, related to the juvenile
while he or she was in the custody of the division.
The bill requires the division to contract with a third independent
third party to conduct a performance assessment of the division’s
de-escalation, physical management, and safety policies and practices, as
well as its provision of trauma-responsive care.

Current Status:

Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole (05/05/2017)
House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor (04/28/2017)

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