8th Judicial District Citizens Academy 2024 Applications Now Open

The 8th Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin is pleased to announce the third annual Citizens Academy dates.

The free, four-week academy will be held on consecutive Tuesdays and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 26th to April 18th, 2024, through the Larimer and Jackson Counties District Attorney’s Office in Fort Collins.

The Citizens Academy promotes transparency and public understanding of what happens from the time someone is arrested through trial and conviction. Each of the eight classes explores the roles of various departments within the office, culminating in a mock trial in the final session.

In 2023, 23 citizens attended the second annual 8th Judicial DA Citizens Academy with an overwhelmingly positive reception. “The Citizen’s Academy is a unique opportunity both for people to learn more about the work we do and for us to engage in meaningful conversations with community members,” says DA McLaughlin. “Communication and transparency are essential elements in creating an effective and trusted criminal justice system and I’m really looking forward to welcoming our third academy class.”

Attendees will meet and learn from the specialized departments within the District Attorney’s Office, including the Special Victims Unit, Investigations Unit, Victim & Witness Advocates Unit, Economic Crimes Unit, Complex Case Unit, Crime Scene Investigations, County Court, District Court, and Specialty Programs.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of how charging decisions are made, the teamwork required to build and prosecute cases, considerations involved in plea negotiations, the support and services provided to victims of crime, the Critical Incident Response Team process, and alternatives to incarceration programs like diversion and restorative justice initiatives.

Limited spaces are available. Preference will be given to applicants who live in the 8th Judicial District and are first-time attendees. Participants must be at least 18 years old, or under 18, with parental consent. Participants must complete an application and complete a criminal background check to be considered for acceptance.

Applications are due by Wednesday, March 6TH. Applications may be completed online at larimer.gov/da/community-relations or delivered or mailed to the following address:

8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office 201 Laporte Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80521 Attn: Kylie Massman

For any questions or concerns, please reach out to [email protected]

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