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Data as a First Step

By District Attorney Anne Kelly · 07-10-2023

Over this past year, the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has been and remains dedicated to restoring the community’s trust in the criminal justice system; enhancing victim engagement in criminal prosecutions, and refining our balanced approach to community safety and offender rehabilitation.   In September 2022, District Attorney Anne Kelly was appointed by Governor Polis and won election to the Office two months later. During this time, the Office has nearly cleared a backlog of approximately 300 criminal cases, worked towards appropriate dispositions and sentences, and boosted our diversion program to better meet the needs of both victims and defendants. The release of this data dashboard showcases our work and the office’s commitment to ongoing transparency.

One of the Office’s top priorities was to address the backlog of criminal cases left unfiled and unreviewed when DA Kelly took office. In our judicial district, misdemeanors are directly filed by law enforcement into the six County Courts. In felony matters, law enforcement presents an individual suspected of a crime to the District Attorney’s Office, and the Office makes a decision regarding which cases to file in the six District Courts.   Since 2022, the number of felony criminal cases (charges filed) from law enforcement’s felony referrals has increased. In 2021, the Office rejected 30% of the felony referrals from law enforcement.  After DA Kelly’s appointment, that percentage has decreased to 12%. 

The District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to strengthening the Office’s partnership with law enforcement.  Through this partnership, the Office has been able to accept and file appropriate felony cases presented to the Office by law enforcement.  

A second priority of our Office is to ensure that offenders receive appropriate and fair sentences.  That means that our Office utilizes alternatives to incarceration when appropriate to encourage rehabilitation and community restoration.  In some cases involving violent offenders who cause the most damage to the community, incarceration is the most appropriate sentence.  The data chart below demonstrates the work we have been doing to ensure violent offenders are appropriately sentenced, while individuals with less serious offenses receive non-incarcerative options.

Lastly, our third focus has been on boosting our Diversion program. The program for both adults and juveniles focuses on restorative processes and a harm reduction approach. Within our jurisdiction, this approach has been driven by the Center for Restorative Programs (CRP) since the 1990s. This past year, the Office has strengthened the partnership with CRP combining diversion management with services provided by CRP.  DA Kelly has increased our diversion and deferred judgment outcomes for those charged with lower-level crimes including those suffering from alcohol or substance use disorder.  This evidence-based approach addresses criminogenic tendencies early with the goal of reducing recidivism.  The graph below shows our efforts to increase the Office’s use of diversion and deferred judgment outcomes. 

This data is only a first step in transparency.  The Office’s priority moving forward is to ensure the community is involved in the criminal justice system by having accurate and reliable information about the work the Office is doing. 

As you review the dashboard we welcome your feedback. Please send that directly to Megan Bagwell, Director of Administration at