The Colorado Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) provides legal advocacy services to indigent parents involved in child welfare proceedings. The project is evaluating the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams. This project is also building the internal capacity of ORPC to routinely evaluate the effectiveness of representation models and use evaluation findings to inform strategic planning.
Calls for criminal justice reform ring loud in Colorado. Overburdening of the corrections system is a part of the problem, driven in large part by the state’s
rate of recidivism. Half of people convicted of crimes in Colorado return to the criminal justice system within three years.
Seeking a deeper understanding of the issue, researchers at the University of Denver partnered with the Colorado Division of Probation Services. Their study examined the significant link between recidivism and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Prosecutors’ ability to exercise a wide degree of discretion has the potential to contribute to equitable—or inequitable—outcomes for defendants. This study analyzed felony cases accepted for prosecution by the Denver District Attorney’s Office to understand the presence and extent of racial and ethnic differences at four key points of prosecutorial discretion. Administrative data was supplemented with qualitative interviews to understand the factors that may be contributing to differences.
TBI, a serious public health issue, often reduces executive function and impulse control which can increase criminal behavior and make it more difficult to successfully complete probation or parole. Approximately 50% of incarcerated individuals have TBI. This project examined the impact of a screening program that offers training and support for probationers identified with a TBI-related cognitive impairment and the probation officers who supervise them.