CPO’s Juvenile Facilities Roundtable Hosts a Facilitated Discussion to Explore A ‘Smaller Is Better’ Treatment Model for Youth in Colorado’s Commitment Facilities

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel facilitated a discussion with youth advocates to identify barriers to implementing smaller, community-based and homelike treatment facilities for Colorado’s committed youth.

Every quarter, the CPO hosts the Roundtable on Juvenile Facilities (Roundtable). These public meetings provide youth advocates a space to learn and share information about topics that are impacting youth in Colorado’s juvenile detention or commitment facilities.

During the February 2022 Roundtable, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel asked youth advocates to identify barriers that may impact Colorado’s ability to implement a ‘smaller is better’ supervision and treatment model for committed youth. (To learn more about this model, please visit our past blog post HERE.) The discussion focused on identifying barriers around funding, facility staffing, economies of scale, youths’ access to education and activities and culture change, and spurred commitment from stakeholders to revisit this topic on an ongoing basis. To ensure ideas can be further explored at a later date, stakeholders’ contributions were recorded in real time.

The following document reflects the contributions that were recorded during the session.

To help prepare for the discussion, Roundtable members were asked to review the Division of Youth Services’ (DYS) FY 2020-2021 annual report in advance of the meeting. The report provides information about the DYS’ operations, programming and populations, and reflects how the DYS’ work currently aligns with the ‘smaller is better’ model.

The DYS’ FY 2020-2021 annual report is below.

Please join us during the 2022 Roundtable meetings. These quarterly meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • May 19, 2022
  • August 18, 2022
  • November 17, 2022

Meetings are from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. and are hosted virtually.

To receive Roundtable communications and/or to join the meetings, please reach out to Tiffany Madrid, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy at tmadrid@coloradocpo.org