A total of 50 people – including some that traveled in from out-of-state – had their warrants for traffic offenses, probation violations and low-level, non-violent misdemeanors cleared Saturday during the first-ever Fresh Start event in Colorado’s First Judicial District.
“A team of our prosecutors – including elected DA Alexis King – volunteered their time for this because it’s the right thing to do and a common-sense solution for everyone involved,” said Jennifer Kilpatrick, Director of Conviction Integrity & Equity for the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Gilpin/Jefferson). “Programs like Fresh Start make our community safer, save taxpayer dollars and help people who want to accept accountability for minor offenses get their lives back on track.”
People with active warrants for a traffic offense, probation violation or low-level, non-violent misdemeanor in Gilpin or Jefferson County were offered a chance to get back on track without being arrested. Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, those who were eligible were allowed to set a new court date, re-engage with probation or resolve their case entirely.
Among those in attendance was a couple that drove all night from Idaho to take care of a warrant from a 2014 case, while another individual traveled from Aspen after hearing about the event from his father. One participant flew in from Maryland as he had turned his life around, completed school and was starting a job with a Fortune 500 tech company.
Not only were attendees provided with an opportunity to clear their warrant, but several community organizations were on-site to connect individuals with support resources. These efforts led to the issuance of 20 bus passes, administration of 13 vaccines and 28 referrals to community programs specializing in housing, health care, food benefits, mental health and substance abuse.
Fresh Start illustrated the power of local collaboration as government and community stakeholders came together to support the effort. The West Metro Fire Department saw a man in a wheelchair trying to get to the event and provided him with a ride. Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were there to greet attendees and support their participation in the program. Court staff hugged and congratulated those who were finally able to get this weight off their shoulders.
Beyond the countless feel-good stories of individuals who were able to get a fresh start was the broader enhancement of community health and safety. Saturday’s event is estimated to have saved taxpayers more than $37,000 – allowing for those resources to be redirected toward the most serious crimes in the community that involve violence and dangerous individuals.
Considered a huge success by all the government and community stakeholders involved, talks of the next Fresh Start event are already in the works. Follow @ColoradoDA1 on Twitter and Colorado First Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Facebook for more information.
About Colorado First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King
Taking office in January 2021, elected District Attorney Alexis King leads the Colorado First Judicial District Attorney’s Office which serves Gilpin and Jefferson counties. Consisting of over 180 prosecutors, victim-witness coordinators, investigators and support staff, the office is committed to creating safer and healthier communities for all through community partnership, alternatives to prosecution, transparency and equity.
About Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) serves as an advisory body to the policy makers, judiciary, and stakeholder groups of the criminal justice system in Jefferson County. The Committee monitors the existing criminal justice system to examine potential opportunities for improvements to the system, prioritizes projects, conducts research, analyzes options, makes recommendations, and assists with implementation. This interagency collaboration seeks to identify innovative and evidence-based solutions to address deficiencies in the system and promote fairness and justice.