The Criminal Justice Section prosecutes a variety of crimes impacting Colorado and its citizens and is recognized as a premier prosecutors’ office in the state.
The single largest component of the Criminal Justice Section is the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division is statutorily charged with handling all of the criminal appeals in the state on behalf of the people of Colorado. Other units within the Criminal Justice Section have statutory authority to prosecute certain types of crime throughout the state; these prosecutions are initially either through direct filing in the appropriate jurisdiction or through use of the statewide Grand Jury.
The prosecutors in the Special Prosecutions Unit are sworn as special deputy district attorneys in the twenty-two judicial districts to provide assistance to the local district attorney on complex crimes and on multi-jurisdictional investigations. Members of the Special Prosecutions Units prosecute major drug trafficking organizations, human trafficking rings, identity theft, election fraud and other fraud schemes. The Violent Crimes Assistance Team provides assistance and litigation support to district attorneys across Colorado on homicide cases, cold case homicides and other violent crimes. The Auto Theft initiative investigates and prosecutes complex crimes related to auto theft statewide.
The Criminal Justice Section also has Securities Fraud, Insurance Fraud and Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and an Environment Crimes Team. These units have statutory authority to prosecute offenders in Colorado in each of these areas.
The Criminal Justice Section also houses the Prosecution Assistance Unit which consists of the Justice Review Project, Marijuana Team, Foreign Prosecutions and the Victims Assistance Program. The Colorado Justice Review Program examines cases of inmates incarcerated on violent crimes to determine whether DNA testing would establish actual innocence for the inmate. The Foreign Prosecutions Unit specializes and assists in both the extradition of foreign nationals from Mexico who have committed crimes in Colorado and the utilization of the Article IV treaty provision with Mexico that provide a mechanism for the prosecution of defendants in Mexico for crimes committed in Colorado. The Victims Assistance Program provides information and support to the victims of crimes. The Marijuana team was created by Senate Bill 14-215 and serves as a source for legal issues surrounding the decriminalization of medical and retail marijuana in Colorado.
The Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Board manages the training and certification of approximately 15,000 active and reserve peace officers appointed to Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies. In addition, POST oversees 26 Basic and Reserve peace officer training academies in Colorado and approximately 2 million dollars in training grants.
The Criminal Justice Section is made up of 13 units: