The Children's Justice Act (CJA) was originally enacted in 1984 as part of the Victims of Crime Act to encourage States to improve the handling of child abuse cases and, in particular, child sexual abuse cases.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
- Makes policy and training recommendations
- Agendas and Minutes
Name Title Task Force designation Meghan Baker Facilities Attorney,
Disability Law Colorado
Individual experienced in working with children with disabilities Maureen “Mo” Basenberg Executive Director, Safe Passage Child Advocate Jaramillo Burgar Managing Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District Managing Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District Matthew DeHerrea-Lopez Permanency Specialist Parent and Representatives of Parent Groups Antonia Chiesa Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kempe Child Protection Team, The Children's Hospital Colorado Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kempe Child Protection Team, The Children's Hospital Colorado Matt Holtman CAPTA 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 Jenkins Children, Youth and Family Services Manager, El Paso County Department of Human Services Child Protective Service Agencies Michelle Jensen Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR) Attorney for Children Megan Kearsley CIP Coordinator Court Improvement Program Coordinator Andi Leopoldus Statewide Coordinator, Colorado Children's Alliance Children's Advocacy Center Representative Johnathan Mullineaux Detective Law Enforcement Morgan Rhoades Lived Experience Parent with Lived Experience Jennifer Richardson Jennifer Richardson Mental Health Professional Judge Valerie J. Robison Civil/Criminal Court Judge, 21st Judicial District Civil/Criminal Judge CJA Task Force Co-Chair Gretchen Russo Judicial and Legislative Administrator, Office of Children, Youth & Families, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Child Protective Services Tori Shuler Director, Fostering Great Ideas Adult former victim of child abuse and or neglect Ben Simonds Case Coordinator CASA Kara Smith Deputy Public Defender Defense attorney Magistrate Kellie Starritt District Court Magistrate for the 7th Judicial District Civil/Criminal Judge Anne Tapp Executive Director, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) Individual experienced in working with homeless children and youth Christy Van Gaasbeek Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) Individual experienced in working with children with disabilities Becky Wiggins Senior Assistant County Attorney in Adams County Prosecuting 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.