Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Justice Center Task Force

Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Justice Center Task Force


CONTACT: Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
(720) 865-9016

Mayor Hickenlooper Announces Justice Center Task Force

(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Monday the creation of both a Justice Center Task Force and an Alternatives to Sentencing Committee, aimed at simultaneously preparing for the Justice Center bond initiative in May 2005 and identifying ways to limit the growth of Denver’s incarcerated population.

“Both our courts and detention facilities are operating at over 130% of capacity, resulting in unsafe conditions that have reached a crisis point,” said Mayor Hickenlooper. “The need for a new court and detention facilities is clear, but it is also critical to identify effective alternatives to incarceration and ways to reduce recidivism. By effectively using social programs and creative alternatives in our justice system, we can reduce the incarcerated population in Denver. The goals of a new Justice Center and effective diversionary programs must work in tandem.”

Justice Center Task Force

The Justice Center Task Force members, appointed by Mayor Hickenlooper, will review plans and make recommendations for building a Justice Center in downtown Denver. The task force is composed of representatives from the private sector, higher education, the non-profit community and government.

Through a series of seven meetings from October through January, the committee will review years of public input, City planning, and the Urban Land Institute’s recent recommendations to help formulate the most effective and efficient plan in moving forward with the Justice Center. Members will serve on one of three subcommittees: Finance, Program, and Design and Construction.

Alternatives to Sentencing Committee

Concurrent with the work of the Justice Center Task Force, the Alternatives to Sentencing Committee will make recommendations aimed at limiting the growth of the incarcerated population in Denver. The committee members, also appointed by Mayor Hickenlooper, will study alternatives to sentencing, diversion and prevention programs, and ways to reduce the recidivism rate. A few additional people will likely be added to this committee to further represent law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, mental health and treatment services. **Member list (to date) is included below.

The Justice Center

The proposed center would include a new court house, detention facility and a parking garage. Because the Rocky Mountain News site is already owned by the City of Denver, minimal additional land will need to be purchased to make the Justice Center a reality. In April, the Urban Land Institute recommended the acquisition of the adjacent block west of the Rocky Mountain News site so the scale of the Justice Center buildings would be more balanced with the surrounding community. Both the property owners and the neighborhood are aware of the City’s interest in this possibility, the details of which will be finalized during the Justice Center Task Force process.


As project manager for the Denver Justice Center, James Mejía will staff both committees, which will have their first meetings this week. The task force and committee will make recommendations to Mayor Hickenlooper who will present a package to City Council for consideration in late January. City Council will review these recommendations for placement of a ballot question in May of 2005.

Justice Center Task Force Members

Finance Committee Co-Chairs:

Bruce Alexander
President, Vectra Bank

Cheryl Cohen-Vader
Manager of Revenue, City and County of Denver

Program Committee Co-Chairs

George Caulkins
Principal, Greendeck Capital

Pat Cortez
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank

Design and Construction Committee Co-Chairs

Hubert Farbes
Attorney, Brownstein Hyatt & Farber

Francis Koncilja
President, Koncilja & Associates

Task Force Members (not assigned to committees yet)

Don Bailey
President, Triton Properties

Suzanne Banning
Golden Triangle Arts District Member

Veronica Barela
Executive Director, NEWSED

Jeffrey Bayless
Judge, Denver District Court

Carrie Besnette
Vice President, The Daniels Fund

Bruce Benson
President, Benson Mineral Group; Chair, Denver Public Schools Foundation

Billie Bramhall
Chair, Golden Triangle Assoc. Urban Planning Committee

Brad Buchanan
President, Buchanan Yonushewski Group

Denise Burgess
President, Burgess Mechanical

Lauren Casteel
Vice President, Denver Foundation

Juanita Chacon
Realtor, ReMax

Jay Choi
Attorney, Burns, Figa & Will

Theresa Donahue
Principal, The Donahue Group

Bill Dougherty
Municipal Finance Consultant, BD Advisors LLC

Lee Driscoll
Manager, Wynkoop Holdings

Estevan Flores
Director, Latino/a Research Policy Center

Sal Gomez
CEO, Source One

Nita Gonzales
Director, Escuela Tlatelolco

Maurice Goodgaine
Vice President, Heritage Bank

Pat Grant
President, National Western Stock Show

Michael Hancock
City Councilman, District #11

Michael Henry
Director, Denver Ethics Commission

Dennis Humphries
President, Golden Triangle Association

Cindy Kahn
Founder, Summer Scholars

Gail Klapper
Director, The Colorado Forum

Alvin LaCabe
Manager of Safety, City and County of Denver

Doug Linkhart
City Councilman, At-Large

Bill Lovingier
Division Chief, Denver Sheriffs Department

William Lundgren
Denver Commission for People with Disabilities

Judy Martinez
Project Director, CO Foundation for Families & Children

Bennie Milliner
Former Community Relations Mgr., Urban League; Former Denver Public Schools Trustee

Karen Nakandakare
Asian Advisory Council; Researcher, UC Health Sciences Ctr.;

Jerry Natividad
CEO, American Facility Maintenance Group

Lisa Roy
Portfolio Manager, The Daniels Charitable Fund

Joe Serna
President, Indian Chamber of Commerce

Ted Trimpa
Attorney, Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber

Elbra Wedgeworth
President, Denver City Council

Richard Yuvienco
Private Banking Officer, Colorado Business Bank

Bob Willis
Pres. & CEO, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce

Alternatives to Sentencing Committee


Rick Garcia
City Councilman, District #1

Frank Moya
Attorney; Public Defender

Wayne Vaden
Clerk and Recorder, City and County of Denver


Cathy Davis
Lieutenant, Denver Police Department, District 6

Phil Cherner
Attorney; Private Practice

Vince DiCroce
Assistant City Attorney, City and County of Denver

Christie Donner
Executive Director, CO Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Lisa Flores
Human Services Policy Specialist, Mayor’s Office

Charlie Garcia
Executive Director, Denver Public Defender Office

Erik Garcia-Gillespie
Acting Director of Probation, Denver County Court

Gus Guarino
Executive Director, CO Criminal Defense Bar

Lucia Guzman
Dir. of Human Rights/Community Relations, City & County of Denver

Angela Hutton-Howard
Managing Partner, Mortgage Executives

Carol Lease
Executive Director, Empowerment Program

Doug Linkhart
City Councilman, At-Large

Fred Oliva
Director of Corrections, Denver Sheriffs Department

John Parvensky
President, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Mario Salinas
Executive Director, John Inman Work and Family Center

Ray Satter
Chief Judge, Denver County Court

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Posted on Oct 11, 2004 (Archive on Nov 10, 2004)
Posted by kpellegrin  Contributed by kpellegrin