Lawmakers may limit shackling juveniles in court

Posted at 6:39 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 08:39:56-04

Colorado lawmakers will consider legislation that would require restraints on juvenile offenders to be removed before court hearings.

The Denver Post reports the bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Lontine and Sen. Michael Merrifield also includes a list of exceptions for when ankle cuffs and chains on youths would be necessary. It will go before a House committee Tuesday.

The legislation comes after the Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling last year requiring all 22 judicial districts to adopt individual polices for determining whether juveniles should be restrained in courtrooms.

In March 2015, juveniles were allowed to appear without restraints in only three districts. That number has increased to 18.

State defense attorneys have argued against shackling children and called for more consistent statewide policies regarding the use of restraints.