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A group of Colorado rights and education organizations is calling on Governor-elect John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers to establish a task force on school bullying and harassment in Colorado. The organizations cite the alarming rash of recent high-profile incidents around the country where harassment led gay high school and university students to commit suicide.
DENVER-- Juveniles charged as adults in Colorado and awaiting trial as inmates in adult prisons find themselves part of a system that fails to educate them, provide them equal access to services like mental health care or even to ensure they are housed according to strict safety guidelines. People involved in the system admit to not knowing how many young people charged as adults are presently being held by the state and in which prisons. Colorado sheriffs frankly admitted to the Colorado Independent that their adult facilities are inappropriate for managing juvenile detention.
DENVER-- Colorado state Senator Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, is weighing strategies to secure passage of a bill she's sponsoring that seeks to ensure youth prisoners charged as adults receive education. Lawmakers have signaled that any bill that requires new spending will likely fail this session. There are currently more than 130 young prisoners in Colorado awaiting trial whose constitutional rights to an education are not being met.
DENVER-- Juvenile suspects awaiting trial as adults in Colorado jails languish without education, sometimes held in solitary confinement while they wait for their day in court. The harsh conditions come partly as a fact of the state's more generally overcrowded prison facilities, where the young people are held in adult prisons, shunted into solitary confinement in order simply to keep them segregated from the adult population. State Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, told the Colorado Independent that young people held in these conditions have committed suicide.
Andrea Merida made headlines November 30 for secretly finding a judge to swear her in before a Denver Public School board meeting so that...