Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s child protection ombudsman announces new program to review child deaths

The death of a 12-year-old boy who was struck by a vehicle after he ran away from a youth treatment center will be the first child fatality reviewed under a new system announced Thursday by the state’s child protection ombudsman.  Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte said she intends to fill the gap left by other child fatality […]

Posted inCOVID, Crime and Courts, Health, News, Politics and Government

For incarcerated youth in Colorado, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet

It was late April and Renee sounded drained and worried. She hadn’t hugged her son or seen his face without a screen pixelating his features since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Colorado more than a year earlier. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said over Zoom. “That is something a parent could never describe. It’s 24/7 of a […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: A Colorado judge’s censure demonstrates how racial bias permeates our child protection system

For the past year, parents and family members complained that a judge in Arapahoe County was biased against them because they were Black. I know this because they complained to my office – the Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman. I would learn in time that the judge in question was entrusted with overseeing the […]

Posted inSun Investigation

The deadly consequences when kids run away from Colorado residential treatment centers

In the places of last resort for Colorado’s most troubled kids, the doors are not locked.  And the children run.  They scale fences and slip through gates. They bolt from staff, who are not allowed to block or restrain them, and they roam city streets for hours or sometimes days.  Children and teens run away […]