The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) approved a resolution in 2016 to limit the use of solitary for young people, urging judges to take leadership positions in the effort. We recently presented to NCJFCJ’s annual conference seeking to highlight the role that judges can and should play in ending solitary. We presented recent reforms in Colorado as proof that success can be achieved.
Earlier this month, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that social workers in Adams County may be held legally responsible for failures to protect children in foster care from abuse. The ruling stems from a case involving a lawsuit filed by three siblings, who claim that social workers failed to safeguard them from abuse in their mother’s home, and later deceived their adoptive parents about the severity of their abuse history. Prior to the ruling, the adoptive parents of the children unsuccessfully filed a separate suit against the Adams County Department of Social Services, claiming that social workers did not disclose the full records of abuse prior to their adoption. Last December, a federal judge ruled that Denver’s social workers could be sued, following the case of a 7-year-old who starved to death under the watch of his foster parents. The ruling allows the siblings to proceed with their lawsuit against the Adams County Department of Social Services, on the grounds that their rights to safety were violated by county social workers.
A 12-year-old Colorado boy may be charged with the murder of his parents, the local district attorney said. Police in Burlington, Colo., found the bodies of Charles and Marilyn Long in their home Mar. 1 after the boy called 911. The 12-year-old’s two siblings were seriously injured, according to police, but are expected to recover. The district attorney is contemplating charging the boy as an adult. He will appear first in juvenile court. Neighbors were shocked by the murders. According to a story in Time, the family was very religious and the homeschooled boy volunteered at his church.