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Human Services Network of Colorado

Working with System-Involved Youth

  • 09/05/2024
  • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom webinar


  • Staff of organization which has a Colorado Housing & Finance Authority membership
  • Belongs to an organization which has purchased a group membership.


Colorado, like all states, faces complex challenges in addressing juvenile justice. With the number of youth arrests rising steadily, it's imperative for professionals working in juvenile justice to have a comprehensive understanding of the trends, dynamics, and best practices in this field. This training aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage with juvenile justice-involved youth in Colorado.

Key Trends and Statistics: According to the Common Sense Institute, Colorado witnessed an alarming 27% increase in youth arrests in 2023 compared to 2021, totaling 8,578 arrests. While juvenile crime rates have generally declined over the past 15 years, there's a concerning rise in violent offenses. Notably, crimes against persons, including murder (210% increase), aggravated assault (17% increase), and robbery (12.3% increase), have seen worrisome spikes.

National Context: Colorado's juvenile crime trends mirror national patterns. Delinquency case rates per 1,000 youth have fluctuated over the years, with significant increases in the mid-1990s followed by substantial declines by 2021. Notably, while male delinquency rates peaked in 1995 and then plummeted by 80% by 2021, female rates peaked slightly later in 1997, with a subsequent 76% decline. Despite improvements, there remains a disparity between male and female delinquency rates.

Training Objectives:

  1. Understanding Juvenile Justice Trends: Gain insights into the evolving landscape of juvenile crime in Colorado, including recent trends, and contributing factors.
  2. Effective Intervention Strategies: Understand the “why” and explore approaches for intervening with youth, and utilizing community-based alternatives to incarceration.
  3. Empowerment and Strengths-Based Approaches: Learn strategies for empowering girls to recognize their strengths, resilience, and capacity for positive change, fostering a sense of agency and self-worth. Recognize the importance of intersectionality and cultural competency in addressing the diverse needs of girls from various racial, ethnic, cultural, and LGBTQ+ backgrounds.
  4. Community Framework for Systems Change: The Community Framework for Systems Change model provides a roadmap for deepening justice reform work in communities. Utilizing this model will provide participants a better understanding of youth needs and the system changes required. This change model is recognized nationally as a model for system reform, and helping to guide community-led strategic plans.
  5. Collaborative Partnerships: Learn to foster collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, schools, community organizations, and mental health providers, to support comprehensive and coordinated responses to juvenile delinquency.
  6. Healing Centered Community Engagement: Learn to go beyond a trauma informed lens to Healing Centered Engagement which will help communities respond to trauma among justice- involved youth, with an emphasis on creating safe and supportive environments that see healing beyond the individual.

Conclusion: By equipping participants with a deeper understanding of juvenile justice trends, interventions, and understanding, this training seeks to empower professionals to make meaningful contributions to the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders in Colorado. Together, we can work towards a more just and equitable juvenile justice system that prioritizes the well-being and future success of our youth.

Presenter: Dr. Vicky Basra, DSW

Dr. Basra is President and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, whose mission is to advance the rights of girls and elevate justice reform, gender equity, and system accountability through research-based community solutions, and bold policy – all with a girl-centered approach. She has extensive experience meeting needs of communities through the development of innovative programs and community engagement models. Vicky has previously been the Director of Family Preservation at Family Support Services of Northeast Florida (FSS) and the Director of Project Safe at Vanderbilt University. In March 0f 2013, she joined the Policy Center, from FSS, where she managed a team of ten direct reports and extended team of 30 staff. As a managing entity, the role included supervising in-house programs and external contracts with six local nonprofits. Vicky previously served as Senior Vice President for the Policy Center, responsible for the growth of the Continuity of Care Model, and implementing the Open Doors Model Program on the First Coast working closely with Voices for Florida. She is a recognized and accomplished non-profit executive with more than 20 years of experience in the vast array of non-profit leadership roles. Vicky has developed multiple programs including the first advocacy program to provide services victims/survivors of intimate violence, sexual assault and stalking on Vanderbilt University’s Campus. A passionate advocate for gender equality, and girls’ rights, Vicky is a sought-after trainer, thought leader, and architect of change. She has contributed to a number of research studies analyzing the impact of trauma on girls and young women and is a frequent contributor to news media on issues related to commercial sexual exploitation, diversity and women’s leadership and the impact of trauma on girls and young women. Vicky holds a Masters of Social Work and a Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Tennessee.

Eligible for 3-Hours certificate of completion

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