Opinion Editorials

Opinion editorials written by Senators and staff do not necessarily reflect the position of the entire caucus.

GARDNER: Colorado’s youth deserve a better juvenile justice system

GARDNER: Colorado’s youth deserve a better juvenile justice system

Colorado has made remarkable improvements to its juvenile justice system resulting in safer communities and fewer youth unnecessarily incarcerated. Due to bipartisan policy solutions, juvenile arrests declined 18 percent and filings to juvenile district court decreased 9 percent between 2012 and 2016; new commitments to the Division of Youth Services have decreased 22 percent since 2013. Despite these accomplishments, the juvenile justice system still needs to do more to strengthen public safety and make sure youth stay crime-free. Though Colorado spends more than $130 million annually on the juvenile justice system, more than half of incarcerated youth discharged from state custody recidivate after two or three years, and more than a third of youth who complete probation have a new case filed within three years.
HOLBERT: Here’s how Democrats should have responded last week when we tried to slow things down

HOLBERT: Here’s how Democrats should have responded last week when we tried to slow things down

It’s no surprise that Coloradans are a bit unsettled by what happened in the state Senate last week. I’m hoping to offer some clarity as to what happened, why it happened, and how it might be avoided in the future. In just the last few weeks, bills have been introduced that jeopardize Colorado’s robust energy industry; trample on at least the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; repeal the death penalty without consulting the voters; and increase our income tax rates with what is brazenly labeled as a “fee.”

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