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Ritter will sign payday loan, campaign finance and direct file reforms...

Gov. Bill Ritter will sign three influential bills into law Tuesday, remaking the payday loan industry, creating greater transparency in campaign finance and tempering...

Colorado minority youth disproportionately tried as adults

Lopsided percentages of young people charged as adults in Colorado courts appear to be ethic minority youth, an apparent bias rights activists suggest should be examined, especially given that Colorado is one of only 14 states in the country to embrace the hard-line "direct file" system, where district attorneys decide, without judicial review, whom to try as adults. According to analysts, the "direct file" system can be counterproductive and, in Colorado at least, is plagued by inadequate data collection and review. Indeed, even the most basic information, like the ethnic makeup of the juveniles being charged with adult crimes, is unreliable or simply not collected.

Bill to educate un-convicted imprisoned youth moves forward

DENVER-- Colorado is one step closer to providing education to youth awaiting trial as adults in jails across the state. The current status quo sees un-convicted teenagers languishing for months and years in adult prisons ill-equipped to provide even constitutionally mandated services such as education.

Lawmakers deal with Ritter, DAs to reform system that charges youth...

Draft legislation that would limit the power of Colorado district attorneys to charge 14- and 15-year-olds as adults was watered down this week by sponsor Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, who said that, although the bill enjoys the support of a majority of lawmakers, former D.A. now-Governor Bill Ritter, a strong proponent of D.A. discretion in these matters, said he would veto the original version of the bill.

Youth advocates to propose referendum shortening adult sentences for juveniles

Advocates for youth offenders in Colorado are looking to bolster coming legislation that would raise the age where juveniles could be tried as adults by also bringing out a referendum asking voters to consider release programs for juveniles convicted of adult crimes. The proposed program would allow convicted youth to enter half-way house programs once they turn 30.

Hard Case: Ritter unlikely to support new rules on trying youth...

Gov. Bill Ritter doesn't think it's a good idea to limit district attorney authority to determine whether to try suspects in juvenile or criminal...

Support building to lessen DA power to try Colorado youth as...

DENVER-- A bipartisan team of Colorado lawmakers is seeking to raise the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults in the state. Rep. Clair Levy, D-Boulder, is introducing legislation this week to make 16-year-old suspects the youngest that D.A.s can try as adults. As it stands now, 14- and 15-year olds can be "direct-filed" by D.A.s Levy's bill would move decisions in those cases out of the hands of prosecutors and into the hands of judges.

Colorado criminally failing youth suspects

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.