Fewer kids, teens in Colorado Youth Corrections facilities

$8 million in spending may shift to child welfare

DENVER - State officials say a focus on rehabilitation has led to a 44 percent decrease in the number of juveniles committed to the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections over the past seven years.

Director of youth corrections John Gomez tells The Denver Post that Colorado will remove 189 beds from seven state-run and community based facilities during the next year. He says his office has successfully combined programs designed to help adolescents before they enter the justice system and has tried to stop released juveniles from returning.

Early-intervention programs have helped expand services to children and teens before they enter the justice system, reducing the number of juvenile arrests in Colorado.

With fewer detained juveniles, the Department of Human Services has asked lawmakers to move nearly $8 million from youth corrections to child welfare services.