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h_jud_2016a_2016-03-22t13:41:33z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 03/22/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1331



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Refer House Bill 16-1331 to the Committee of the W PASS







01:41 PM -- HB16-1331



The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Lontine, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 16-1331, concerning the use of restraints on a juvenile during a court proceeding. Committee members received a report from the Judicial Branch pertaining to juvenile restraint in courtrooms (the report may be accessed at: http://www.coloradochildrep.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Report-to-the-General-Assembly-on-restraints-on-juveniles1.pdf ). Representative Lontine discussed legislation concerning juvenile shackling that was considered by the General Assembly in 2015, and explained the effect of HB 16-1331. Representative Lontine responded to questions regarding some reservations expressed about policy changes made pertaining to juvenile shackling. The following persons testified regarding HB 16-1331:



01:48 PM --
Deputy Bryan Lipe, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in opposition to the bill. Deputy Lipe discussed some potential safety concerns associated with banning juvenile shackling. Deputy Lipe responded to questions regarding violent incidents involving juveniles in court in El Paso County, and the county's policy for shackling adults in court. Deputy Lipe responded to further questions regarding department policy on the escorting of offenders in court.



02:00 PM --
Ms. Janet Huffor, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in opposition to HB 16-1331. Ms. Huffor discussed policies adopted by the Judicial Branch concerning juvenile shackling in court, and the policies followed in El Paso County. Ms. Huffor explained that the bill would undo work undertaken by her office and other stakeholders, and expressed additional reservations about the bill. Ms. Huffor responded to questions regarding the ability of a sheriff's office to request that particular juveniles be restrained in court.





02:16 PM



Ms. Huffor responded to questions regarding the intent of HB 16-1331, and the criteria to be considered when shackling juveniles in court under current policy and under HB 16-1331. Ms. Huffor responded to questions regarding the potential for amending the bill to outline the crimes that would result in a juvenile being shackled in court.





02:29 PM



Ms. Huffor responded to questions regarding the process that would be observed in requesting that a particular juvenile be restrained under HB 16-1331, and the process currently observed in El Paso County. Discussion ensued regarding how smoothly this process currently functions.



02:40 PM --
Judge Michael O'Hara, representing the Judicial Branch, testified on the bill from a neutral position. Judge O'Hara discussed policies created by the judicial districts concerning juvenile shackling. Judge O'Hara responded to questions regarding judicial discretion on restraining juveniles in court, and the process by which restraint policies were created in his judicial district. Judge O'Hara responded to questions regarding the positions of stakeholders on the juvenile restraint policy that his district crafted.



02:54 PM --
Ms. Ann Roan, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Roan discussed inconsistencies in current juvenile shackling policies among the judicial districts, the leeway granted to courts by the bill, and the constitutionality of the bill. Ms. Roan explained that the bill will create uniformity in shackling policy in Colorado. Ms. Roan responded to questions regarding why this judicial function should be uniform throughout the state, while other functions are not.





03:09 PM



Ms. Roan responded to questions regarding how HB 16-1331 would change juvenile restraint policy in the districts.



03:09 PM --
Ms. Melissa North and Mr. Zack Duran, representing themselves, testified in support of the bill. Ms. North discussed the impact court shackling has had on her son.



03:14 PM --
Ms. Sheila Littlejohn-Price, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Littlejohn-Price discussed the shackling of her daughter for court proceedings, and the impact this had on her family. Ms. Littlejohn-Price responded to questions regarding the circumstances under which her daughter appeared in court, and the reasons why her daughter was shackled.



03:20 PM --
Ms. Hannah Proff, representing the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center, testified in support of HB 16-1331. Ms. Proff discussed juvenile shackling policy in other states, and provided some history on the use of shackling for juveniles in court. Ms. Proff responded to questions regarding the time involved on the part of a court in making a shackling decision, and the consistency of HB 16-1331 with shackling policy in other states.



03:28 PM --
Ms. Carla Bennett, representing the League of Women Voters, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bennett discussed the need for a consistent statewide policy on juvenile shackling.



03:30 PM --
Ms. Sarah Strufing, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Strufing discussed the juvenile shackling policy in Adams County, and the process by which shackling decisions are made.



03:35 PM --
Ms. Tamara Thomson, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thomson discussed the juvenile shackling policy adopted in Denver, and explained how this policy has impacted certain juveniles appearing in court. Ms. Thomson responded to questions regarding the trauma experienced by juveniles who have been shackled, and the extent of juvenile shackling in Denver. Ms. Thompson responded to further questions regarding the criteria that should be considered in making a juvenile shackling decision.



03:48 PM --
Ms. Linda Weinerman, representing the Office of the Child's Representative, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Weinerman discussed the population affected by the bill, and progress made on the shackling issue in recent years. Ms. Weinerman discussed disparate juvenile shackling policies among the judicial districts. Discussion ensued regarding the shackling policy in the Eighteenth Judicial District. Ms. Weinerman responded to questions regarding the use of state law to guide shackling policy.



03:59 PM --
Ms. Jamie Lovato, representing herself, testified in support of HB 16-1331. Ms. Lovato discussed her experiences as a victimized youth, and the stresses of working with youth. Ms. Lovato discussed her experiences with law enforcement and the courts, and the traumas associated with court appearances and shackling. Ms. Lovato discussed the benefits of not shackling juveniles.





04:08 PM



No amendments were offered to HB 16-1331. Representative Lontine provided closing remarks in support of the bill. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.





04:21 PM



The committee recessed.





04:23 PM



The committee returned to order.

BILL: HB16-1331
TIME: 04:11:06 PM
MOVED: Salazar
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1331 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 6-4.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Carver
No
Court
Yes
Dore
Excused
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
No
Lundeen
No
Melton
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Willett
No
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 6 NO: 4 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS







04:24 PM



The committee recessed.


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