Annual Celebration & Fundraiser
2020 CJDC Awards Ceremony and Reception
CJDC’s 2019 Celebration & FundraiserEach year, CJDC honors an outstanding juvenile defender, social worker, and investigator for their exemplary advocacy, endless commitment to fighting for their clients, and dedication to their work. We are pleased to announce the 2019 award recipients who embody the spirit, tenacity, and steadfast commitment to our vision of youth experiencing adolescence free from over-criminalization in a just society that promotes their well-being and provides second chances.
2019 Outstanding Juvenile Defender of the Year | Ryann Hardman
Ryann joined the Colorado State Public Defender’s Appellate Division in 2008 and has specialized in juvenile delinquency appeals since 2014. In addition to handling appeals, Ryann supports trial attorneys in juvenile cases and trains attorneys on juvenile law topics, including instructions of law and appellate process. Prior to working for the Public Defender, Ryann clerked for the Honorable Robert M. Russel of the Colorado Court of Appeals and taught seventh grade Spanish.
2019 Outstanding Social Worker of the Year | Kyle Varvil
Kyle is a proud native Coloradan, growing up in a community just outside of Denver. The past four years he has spent working in the Colorado justice system as a forensic social worker. He earned grit for this work when he was employed by a residential treatment center. Here he helped develop and operate a male Department of Youth Corrections and mixed mental health unit where the focus was successful reentry into the community and successful parole. Hearing clients’ stories and understanding the lack of support each one felt while they were going through their own court cases, Kyle was inspired to do more.
He graduated with his Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in ‘At Risk Youth’ from the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. After graduate school, Kyle began contracting with the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel as a forensic social worker. He currently works with direct file youth, juveniles serving life without parole sentences or virtual life sentences, juveniles & adults with competency concerns, young adults involved in the criminal justice system, and juveniles & adults with developmental disabilities/intellectual disabilities. Kyle has also worked with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Denver. He has engaged with Colorado on a macro level by testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a mental health resource bill that helps provide assistance to reentering inmates with high mental health needs. Kyle is a forceful advocate for his client’s needs by sharing their stories and bringing understanding to their experiences.
2019 Outstanding Investigator of the Year | Larry Leaman-Miller
Here are a few words Larry has to share about his work, “In my role as a defense investigator over the last 15 years, I’ve gravitated towards working with youthful defendants, including several JLWOP cases, and cases involving Spanish-speaking defendants. I was a teenager when my family moved back to the U.S. from where I had grown up in Kenya and Tanzania. The dislocation I felt as a youth in a new country and culture gives me a perspective into the alienation felt by some of the juvenile and immigrant defendants I have learned to know. I have also worked on several death penalty cases and am trained as a defense-initiated victim outreach specialist.