The bill clarifies in the Colorado Children's Code and in the 'School Attendance Law of 1963' that a 'delinquent act' does not include truancy or habitual truancy. A child who is habitually truant and who refuses to follow a plan to rehabilitate his or her truancy may be subject to various sanctions by the court in a truancy proceeding.
The court shall not sentence a child or youth to detention as a sanction for contempt of court in a truancy proceeding unless it determines such detention is in the best interest of the child or youth as well as the public. In making such a finding, the court is required to consider several factors related to the child or youth, truancy, and the use of detention.
A judge or magistrate may issue a warrant authorizing the taking into temporary custody of a child or youth who has failed to appear for a court hearing for a truancy or contempt action. Any such warrant must allow for release of the child or youth from temporary custody on an unsecured personal recognizance bond, cosigned by the child's or youth's parent or legal guardian or, if applicable, a representative of the department of human services. In the alternative, the warrant may, if the court is in session, direct that the child or youth be arrested and taken directly to court for an appearance.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)