Colorado youth corrections system sees biggest spike in violent offenders in a decade

Jennifer Brown:

The number of young people in Colorado’s youth corrections system because they killed someone jumped by 32% in the past fiscal year, an alarming increase that coincides with the system’s largest spike in youth violent crime in a decade.

Even more startling: In the past four years, the number of youth in the Colorado Division of Youth Services for the offenses of homicide and manslaughter has risen by 141%.

While 41 young people were held for homicide or manslaughter in the past fiscal year, there were 17 incarcerated for those crimes in 2017. Those numbers don’t include teens who were tried in court as adults and sent to the adult prison system.

The increase is a “reflection, unfortunately, of access to handguns on the street and an increase in youth violence,” said Anders Jacobson, division director.