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Denver Juvenile Courts

The troubling new trend for Denver kids since the pandemic

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Since the pandemic, some Denver-area juvenile courts are seeing fewer kids in courtrooms, but a troubling new trend has risen instead — the courts are seeing more kids charged with violent crimes like aggravated assault or robbery. They’re also seeing spikes in domestic violence among youth, and gang activity.

“We’re getting some really, really tough kids right now,” said Shawn Cohn, chief probation officer in the Denver Juvenile Probation department. “And I do think that the pandemic played into that because these kids don’t have the outlets of school or being where there are positive adults that engage with them and kind of help walk them through some scenarios and situations.”

Before some teens gravitate towards really violent crime, some — low-level, first-time offenders — end up in anger management classes instead. Let’s say a kid punches another kid in school. It’s the first time they’ve done that.A municipal court may send the youth to an anger management class at NCTI of Colorado. The group provides cognitive behavioral therapy classes for adults and court-ordered classes for youth, such as 4-hour ones on anger management, substance abuse, petty theft or domestic violence.

More Kids In Juvenile Courts Are There For Violent Crimes. Anger Management Classes Can Help Low-Level Offenders, But Others Need More Intervention

-Jenny Brundin, CPR

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