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Bill would keep kids charged with a misdemeanor from serving in Colorado youth centers

Bill would keep kids charged with a misdemeanor from serving in Colorado youth centers
Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 09:35:00-05

DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers will debate Tuesday how to handle young juveniles accused of misdemeanor crimes.

Currently, the law allows children as young as 10 years old to be held at Colorado youth centers. But a lawmaker from Colorado Springs wants to change that.

“So, 10, 11 and 12 year olds under this bill would not be eligible for incarceration in secure detention facilities, unless they committed a felony or used a weapon,” said Rep. Pete Lee (D) El Paso County. “If they aren't dangerous to the community, they shouldn't be incarcerated.”

Representative Lee says the bill will help kids have a better future and save the state money. It currently costs more than $50,000 per year to house a juvenile offender.

The bill will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon. The bill is supported by the Colorado Department of Human Services, the agency that runs the state’s youth detention facilities.

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