How safe are we in America? How about in Colorado? Reports on the crime rates were just released by the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Colorado saw increases in both violent crimes and property offenses, the nationwide rates actually dropped, on average.
In March, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty announced the creation of a conviction integrity unit in the county which will review criminal cases for signs that defendants are actually innocent. Since then, his office and local criminal defense lawyers have been working to create review criteria and an application process.
Thanks to new partnerships with social workers and mental health professionals, a number of Colorado law enforcement agencies have been changing their strategy to focus more on treatment. In some cases, mental health professionals are riding along with officers. In others, case managers stationed in higher crime areas help officers divert low-level offenders away from the criminal justice system and toward recovery.
Marijuana is now legal for medical purposes in 29 states and Washington, D.C. It is legal for recreational use in eight states and D.C. Nevertheless, it remains illegal under federal law. So far, the federal government has played along, but for how long?