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Children's Justice Act Task Force

The Children's Justice Act (CJA) was originally enacted in 1984 as part of the Victims of Crime Act to encourage States to improve the handling of child abuse cases and, in particular, child sexual abuse cases. Most recently, CJA was reauthorized through the 2010 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA, P.L. 111-320). Section 107(c) of CAPTA requires States to create a multidisciplinary CJA Task Force composed of professionals and individuals with knowledge and experience relating to the criminal justice system and issues of child physical abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and child maltreatment related fatalities.

The CJA Task Force reviews and evaluates State investigative, administrative and both civil and criminal judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as cases involving suspected child maltreatment related fatalities and cases involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as intrastate, interstate, federal-State and State-tribal. The task force also makes policy and training recommendations

Meetings

Agendas and Minutes

Members
Name TitleTask Force designation
Meghan BakerFacilities Attorney,
Disability Law Colorado
Individual experienced in working with children with disabilities
Maureen “Mo” BasenbergExecutive Director, Safe PassageChild Advocate
Jaramillo BurgarManaging Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 18th Judicial DistrictManaging Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District
Matthew DeHerrea-LopezPermanency SpecialistParent and Representatives of Parent Groups
Antonia ChiesaAssociate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kempe Child Protection Team, The Children's Hospital ColoradoAssociate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kempe Child Protection Team, The Children's Hospital Colorado
Matt HoltmanCAPTA and Federal Funding Administrator, Division of Child Welfare, Office of Children, Youth & Families, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)Child Protective Services CJA Task Force Co-Chair
April JenkinsChildren, Youth and Family Services Manager, El Paso County Department of Human ServicesChild Protective Service Agencies
Michelle JensenOffice of the Child’s Representative (OCR)Attorney for Children
Megan KearsleyCIP CoordinatorCourt Improvement Program Coordinator
Andi LeopoldusStatewide Coordinator, Colorado Children's AllianceChildren's Advocacy Center Representative
Johnathan MullineauxDetectiveLaw Enforcement
Morgan RhoadesLived ExperienceParent with Lived Experience
Jennifer RichardsonJennifer RichardsonMental Health Professional
Judge Valerie J. RobisonCivil/Criminal Court Judge, 21st Judicial DistrictCivil/Criminal Judge CJA Task Force Co-Chair
Gretchen RussoJudicial and Legislative Administrator, Office of Children, Youth & Families, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)Child Protective Services
Tori ShulerDirector, Fostering Great IdeasAdult former victim of child abuse and or neglect
Ben SimondsCase CoordinatorCASA
Kara SmithDeputy Public DefenderDefense attorney
Magistrate Kellie StarrittDistrict Court Magistrate for the 7th Judicial DistrictCivil/Criminal Judge
Anne TappExecutive Director, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN)Individual experienced in working with homeless children and youth
Christy Van GaasbeekOffice of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC)Individual experienced in working with children with disabilities
Becky WigginsSenior Assistant County Attorney in Adams CountyProsecuting attorney
Reports & Publications

The Colorado CJA Task Force submits a report annually to the Administration on Children, Youth and Families. To review CJA Task Force reports visit Child Welfare Reports & Publications.