Brain injuries are prevalent in the Criminal Justice System. According to research, an estimated 25-87% of inmates report having experienced a traumatic brain injury, compared to approximately 8.5% of the general population. Research has demonstrated that people under criminal justice supervision with a traumatic brain injury tend to have poorer outcomes, including high rates of recidivism.
To increase awareness of and training surrounding brain injuries for criminal justice professionals, expand screening and identification for people in the criminal justice system who have been identified as having a significant brain injury the Colorado general assembly passed Senate Bill 21-138. This legislation requires the Department of Corrections to implement a pilot program to evaluate outcomes for individuals with with a brain injury who received screening and support while in the criminal justice system.
The second part of SB 138 requires the Brain Injury Trust Fund Board of Directors establish a task force to make recommendations to the legislature on how to expand the pilot program to the entire Colorado justice system. The legislation details the task force’s objectives. The task force members were required to convene by August 1, 2021 and meet a minimum of four times. The task force was also required submit a report to the legislature by January 1, 2022. This report had to include the following:
- Brain injury training requirements for criminal justice professionals
- A list of those who would benefit from the training
- Necessary training for mental health professional providing screenings and support
- Policies and procedures for performing brain injury screening
- Policies and procedures for providing support to individuals who screen positive including:
- Identification of symptoms to determine deficits
- Referral to neuropsychological assessment, if necessary
- Implementation of accommodations
- Referral to appropriate brain injury/community services
- Identification of necessary contracts between various entities to implement the recommendations in the plan
The signed legislation can be viewed be viewed here (PDF).
The final legislative report can be viewed here (PDF).
If you have questions or comments regarding the task force, please contact us.
TASK FORCE MEMBERS
The approved legislation included a list of organizations and other stakeholders that should be represented on the task force. The Trust Fund Board met at 8:00 am on July 13, 2021 to appoint the members of the task force in accordance with the requirements in SB 138.
SB 138 Position
|DIRECTOR OF THE PROGRAM, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||MINDSOURCE Director||Liz Gerdeman|
|DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF PROBATION SERVICES IN THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||Division of Probation, Director||Glenn Tapia|
|EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||DOC, Health Professional –
Mental Health Services
|STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||State Public Defender, Brighton||Florence Seaman|
|DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS IN THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||Community Corrections Executive Director||Katie Ruske|
|A SHERIFF OR JAIL ADMINISTRATOR||Summit County Jail Sheriff||Jaime FitzSimons|
|A MEMBER OF THE TRUST FUND BOARD, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE||TF Board Chair and Craig Hospital Researcher||Jennifer Coker|
|MEMBER OF A CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION||Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, Policy Coordinator||Terri Hurst|
|EXPERT IN THE RESEARCH AND EVALUATION OF BRAIN INJURIES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM||University of Denver||Kim Gorgens|
|MEMBER WHO REPRESENTS AN ORGANIZATION SPECIALIZING IN DELIVERING BRAIN INJURY SERVICES||Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, Program Manager – Criminal Justice||Liam Donevan|
|MEMBER WHO REPRESENTS AN ORGANIZATION SPECIALIZING IN DELIVERING BRAIN INJURY SERVICES||Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, Director of Professional Programs||Jaime Horsfall|
|MEMBER WHO EXPERIENCED A BRAIN INJURY AND HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM||Marchell Taylor|
|MEMBER WHO EXPERIENCED A BRAIN INJURY AND HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM||John Kurak|
Individuals for the final two positions were selected via a vote of a subcommittee of the board after reviewing applications, of which we received 9.
If you need any accommodations we ask that you please contact us a week in advance and we are happy to try and meet any needs you might have. Please visit the CDHS public calendar for Zoom details.
Kickoff Stakeholder Meeting – July 30th, 8:30-9:30 AM, Agenda (PDF)
August 30, 2021, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Agenda (PDF)
September 16, 2021, 8:30-10:30 AM Agenda (PDF)
October 22, 2021, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
November 17,2021, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM