Denver DA's Office reorganizes units for specific focus on juvenile diversion program

DENVER – The Denver District Attorney’s Office is reorganizing its juvenile and drug courts units to make a separate juvenile court unit staffed by attorneys who have expressed interest in working with youth offenders.

As of Wednesday, Denver’s Juvenile and Drug Courts Unit will split into two departments. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has appointed Deputy District Attorney Courtney Johnston to head the new Juvenile Unit. Several other deputies will work under her.

The DA’s Office says the Juvenile Unit will continue to work to divert first-time offenders from the justice system. McCann says she wants to expand that program, wants to include 18-to-26-year-old offenders in the program, and is looking into diversion programs for people before they are booked.

The office says the juvenile unit will also continue to prosecute cases in Denver Juvenile Court and that the Drug Court Unit would continue its normal activities.

Johnston and others appointed to her position after she vacates it will serve a minimum of five years in the position. The deputy attorneys will serve at least three.

Johnston has several years of experience at the Denver DA’s Office and has also worked with youths in Mississippi and Georgia.

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