Believe In Youth

Believe in Youth:

Expungement and Deregistration Direct Representation

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In July 2018 with generous help from the Denver Foundation and the Colorado Bar Foundation CJDC was able to restart it’s Believe in Youth Program.  This program provides legal representation to qualified, indigent youth and young adults who want to expunge their juvenile records and/or petition to remove themselves from the sex offender registry, where the reason for their registration is a juvenile adjudication. The program seeks to remove barriers to employment, education and government benefits. Emma McLean-Riggs, our newest Staff Attorney, received a two-year Skadden Fellowship to continue and grow this program.

The Believe in Youth program is the only program in the state of Colorado offering pro-bono direct representation services for youth and young adults seeking deregistration. CJDC is one of three projects in the nation that is doing deregistration work.

The Believe in Youth program partners with public defenders, OADC, private attorneys, social workers, GALs, probation officers and other professionals to identify and reach out to eligible youth and young adults.  We also provide trainings in the legal community for representation in deregistration and expungement cases.

The Believe in Youth program has changed the lives of many youth in Colorado.

 “The juvenile had a part-time job in a mechanics shop that would not have required a background check. However, he is attending college for airplane mechanics so I can definitely say that without getting off the registry he wouldn’t get hired after college with an airline if he didn’t have this off his background.” -Attorney for Devi C.

“My confidence is 100% better. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me and I am now studying to be a doula, then a midwife.” – Briana V. received expungement in 2018

Other clients removed barriers to housing: including being able to retain section 8 housing, thus preventing future homelessness. Finally, one client was able to achieve adoption permanency after successful deregistration.

If you or someone you knows may qualify for this program, please contact Emma at or 303-425-7232