17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Serving Adams and Broomfield Counties
|Our mission is:
Since taking office as your District Attorney in 2013, I have sought to improve the services the District Attorney’s Office provides to the citizens of the 17th Judicial District in Adams and Broomfield counties. Many positive changes have taken place in the three years I have been in office and I am very proud of what the outstanding members of our office have accomplished. Here are some of our major accomplishments during the past three years.
Creation of an Economic Crime Unit
For the first time in the history of the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, an Economic Crime Unit was established for the office in April 2014. Our office is headed by a senior trial deputy with 27 years of experience prosecuting white-collar crime. A deputy district attorney and a white-collar crime investigator also are assigned to the unit. The ECU already has investigated, solved and prosecuted numerous white-collar crime cases, including consumer fraud and crimes against the elderly. The unit already has won nearly $1 million in court-ordered restitution to victims of white-collar crime. These are cases that historically would be labeled as civil cases, but due to the unit’s specialized investigation into these matters, criminal activity was discovered. Our office continues to work with law enforcement agencies in our jurisdiction on improving ways to investigate these types of crimes. We also continue to do community outreach to the relevant agencies that are required to report elder abuse crimes.
Created a Drug Prosecutor Position
In 2013, we designated a drug prosecutor to handle major drug cases. Our drug prosecutor has worked closely with the North Metro Task Force and played a significant role in taking down several major criminal drug organizations in our community.
Assignment of a Human Trafficking Prosecutor
We recognize that human trafficking is a serious issue in the 17th Judicial District as it is throughout the Denver metro area and across the country. We have two prosecutors assigned to prosecute human trafficking cases, who also are involved in training law enforcement in the investigation of human trafficking cases. The office has successfully investigated and prosecuted several human trafficking cases. This is another area I would like to add resources to in 2017.
Reorganization of our District Court Prosecution Unit
Our office has historically handled a high volume of felony cases with limited resources and routinely leads the state in taking serious felony cases to trial. Recognizing the high volume of cases assigned to our attorneys, we reorganized our office to add four felony prosecutors assigned to our District Court Division without increasing our budget.
Reorganization of our Investigations Unit
We reorganized our investigations unit to focus on the investigation of major crimes and critical incidents involving police officers and the use of force in the 17th Judicial District. We have added several highly experienced investigators to our staff and our unit is recognized as one of the top investigations units in the area, taking the lead in certain officer-involved shooting investigations.
On-Call Homicide Unit
Involvement by our prosecutors at the beginning of a case leads to more effective prosecution of the murder cases we handle. Our most experienced attorneys are now assigned on-call to respond to homicide crime scenes to assist with these major investigations. Our office established this protocol when I took office as your District Attorney in 2013. This is the first time this has been done in the 17th Judicial District.
Our office took the lead in converting paper files to electronic files for the 17th Judicial District. As of March 2, 2015, all cases in our district are filed electronically. This was a major undertaking that required more than a year of preparation and planning. We are the largest District Attorney’s Office in Colorado to go paperless and use electronic files in the courtroom.
Our District Attorney’s Office is one of only a few in the state which offers a Diversion program to adults as well as juveniles. Our Diversion Program is unique and successful because, unlike many other jurisdictions, we have a pre-filing program. Most of our Diversion clients are referred before cases are filed, so that a juvenile or adult defendant never has to appear in court and the defendant’s record never contains the alleged incident. In the rare instance that a referral is made after the filing of criminal charges, upon successful completion of the Diversion program, the case is dismissed and the defendant’s record is sealed. Our program is highly successful. Our Diversion Office has a 90% success rate that our adult and juvenile clients will not re-offend if they successfully complete the program during the time my time as your District Attorney.
Established a Sexting Program for Juveniles in our Diversion Program
In 2015, we established a sexting Diversion program for juveniles who otherwise could be charged with a Class 3 felony for sending sexually explicit images on their cell phones or other devices. The 6-week program educates juveniles and their parents about the ramifications of sexting and the permanency of electronic images. Because our clients are referred to Diversion before the case is filed, the case never appears on the juvenile’s record and they do not have to register as a sex offender. Our staff also speak to students in our schools about sexting.
Problem Solving Courts
Problem Solving Courts are geared to addressing the underlying problems causing the criminal behavior of defendants rather than merely dealing with punishment of the offender. We have three Problem Solving Courts in the 17th Judicial District:
- We helped establish a Veteran’s Court in March 2014 to provide an alternative to incarceration for U.S. military veterans with trauma-related emotional or mental health issues.
- The Drug Court has been in place many years and is highly successful in helping to rehabilitate drug offenders. The program prevents them from going to prison and helps them become productive members of society.
- The Mental Health or CESE court does the same thing with people suffering from mental illness, focusing on rehabilitation and treatment rather than punishment. The CESE (Community Engagement, Supervision and Evaluation) program ensures that participants continue treatment and medication after their criminal cases are concluded so that they are less likely to re-offend.
Website, Facebook and Twitter
One of my goals as District Attorney is to expand our involvement with the community. Our office is committed to communicating with the public about what we do and using innovative ways to stay connected to the community we serve and help you stay informed.
To that end, we have completely redesigned our website and are continuing to revise its content in an attempt to provide the information that residents of our community need. We also have established a presence on Facebook and Twitter to better inform and stay in touch with the public. You can follow us here on Facebook, Twitter or www.adamsbroomfieldda.org.
We also post all of our news releases and decision letters on officer-involved shootings on our website so they are readily available to the public.
District Attorney’s Citizens Academy
One of my first priorities as District Attorney was to establish a Citizens Academy where members of our community could come and learn about the criminal justice system and the work we do at the District Attorney’s Office. We held our first academy in the fall of 2013. The free eight-week program gives an inside look into how a homicide case is investigated and prosecuted and also includes presentations on juvenile crime, the coroner’s office, crime scene investigations, DNA, victim-witness services and the diversion program. This has become an annual event and we will hold our fourth academy in September 2016.
Fraud Prevention Seminars
Our staff provides free seminars on identity theft and consumer fraud prevention on a regular basis. If you are interested in scheduling a fraud presentation, contact our public information officer, Sue Lindsay, at 303-835-5639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our staff is available to speak to community and neighborhood groups on any topic relating to the criminal justice system. Topics of our educational presentations include:
- Criminal Justice System and the Role of the District Attorney
- The Juvenile Justice System
- The Impact of Amendment 64
- Human Trafficking
- Investigation of Officer-Involved Shootings
- Elder Abuse and the Mandatory Reporting Law
- Identity Theft and Consumer Fraud
- Drinking, Drugs and Driving
- Marijuana, Alcohol and Teens
- Bullying and Cyber-Bullying
Working to Improve the Criminal Justice System
Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ)
I was nominated by all the elected District Attorneys in the State and appointed by the governor to serve as a commissioner on the CCJJ in 2013 and currently serve on a task force to help inmates released from prison cope and succeed with re-entry into society. The CCJJ was formed in 2007 to examine the criminal justice system in Colorado and recommend ways to improve public safety.
Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC)
I serve as the chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee for the 17th Judicial District. The goal of the organization is to improve the criminal justice system in the 17th Judicial District. Members include judges, police chiefs, the sheriff and representatives of city governments. The CJCC has three subcommittees:
- Alternative Sanctions Subcommittee
The CJCC is constantly looking at alternative ways to sentence defendants in our jurisdiction. We examine how to improve public safety, reduce recidivism and assure that defendants are rehabilitated and do not re-offend.
- Behavioral Health Subcommittee
The CJCC examines how we can improve how we treat individuals with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. Our goal is not to use the jail as a mental health institution, but to get treatment for those in the criminal justice system who suffer from mental illness.
- Information Sharing Subcommittee
The CJCC is working to link municipal courts with state courts so we are better informed about all defendants in the 17th Judicial District and thus can achieve the best outcome for their cases.
Task Force Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
I was appointed by the Colorado legislature to serve on the task force on mental illness in the criminal justice system. The task force is charged with examining the treatment of persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system and to make findings and recommendations for changes to the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Testimony at the General Assembly
I have testified numerous times before state legislative committees on criminal justice bills including proposed bills on the death penalty, juvenile competency and making repeat DUI a felony offense.
Service on Community Boards
Community Leadership Board for the Adams County Youth Initiative (ACYI)
The Adams County Youth Initiative was established in 2005 to develop programs to improve early childhood literacy, high school graduation rates and keep youth in school and out of the criminal justice system. The District Attorney’s Office was instrumental in forming ACYI and I serve on its board.
Executive Board for The Link: A Community Assessment and Resource Center
The Link is the juvenile assessment center for Adams and Broomfield counties. I serve on its board. The mission of The Link is to provide a collaborative, multi-agency, single entry process for youth who are involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. By on-site screening and thorough assessment, youth are referred to appropriate intervention services in order to prevent initial or repeat youth offenses and to seek alternatives to detention
Executive Board for CESE
CESE (Community Engagement, Supervision & Evaluation) is a treatment program designed for non-violent offenders diagnosed with mental illness as an alternative to the criminal court system. The CESE court is one of our Problem Solving Courts. I serve on the CESE board.
Member of Key Community Response TEAM, Aurora
The Key Community Response Team (KCRT) is made up of volunteers who respond for the city of Aurora in times of civil disorder. Team members serve as facilitators, mediators and trainers, and work to control rumors and put together community forums.
The Mapleton School District Foundation Board
I serve as a member of this board which obtains scholarships for students in the school district. Our goal is to provide financial assistance and help as many students as possible graduate and go to college, keeping them out of the criminal justice system.