image003The 4th Judicial District Court in Colorado Springs has been selected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges as one of 16 sites around the country to receive training and technical assistance in a juvenile justice project.

The School Pathways to the Juvenile Justice System Project is intended to establish models for systemic change by reducing referrals of youth to juvenile courts for school-based misbehavior and to expand the use of positive disciplinary practices in schools, according to a Colorado Judicial Branch news release.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in this visionary project,” said Magistrate Jessica Curtis, who initiated application for the project on behalf of the 4th Judicial District. “We expect this is going to have a direct impact on how our juvenile courts interact with school districts, law enforcement, and other community partners in the Pikes Peak area for years to come.”

Local partners in the project include Harrison School District 2, Colorado Springs School District 11, GOAL Academy, El Paso County Department of Human Services, Teller County Department of Social Services, AspenPointe, Colorado Springs Police Department, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, 4th Judicial Public Defender’s Office, 4th Judicial District Probation, Joint Initiatives for Youth and Families, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region and Colorado Springs Teen Court.

All services to the project in Colorado Springs and other selected locations will be supported through grants to the NCJFCJ from The Atlantic Philanthropies, Public Welfare Foundation, Open Society Institute and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The NCJFCJ also will help the 4th Judicial District–El Paso and Teller counties–identify stakeholders and court partners to participate in the visit, and provide guidance in compiling data and a self-assessment to identify and confirm issues surrounding school referrals.

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