Demographics Of Domestic Violence In Colorado — 2007

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The fiscal year 2007 statistics for the Colorado courts for domestic violence charges, with associated mandatory restraining orders, are given in their Table 30, with a total of 13,874, with an additional 3,456 cases of protection orders violations. Civil restraining orders are tabulated in their Table 29, totalling 13,261 (6.687 of these orders are for domestic abuse), for a combined total of 30,591. That total is virtually unchanged from the previous year while the sampled population increased 2%.

The tables for domestic violence and restraining orders from which the data presented below are drawn is compiled by the State Court Administrator's Office and are available from the Colorado State Court web site. The data are combined and presented here in Table 55 together with the population-normalized values for each judicial district.


 
    Table 55: Number restraining order and domestic violence cases, and divorce rate in the State of Colorado in fiscal 2007 (July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007) by judicial district and county.

Judicial district

Colorado Counties

2007

Census

(estimate)

Restraining

orders (DA) 1

Domestic

violence

(RO violation) 2

Restraining

orders % 3

Percent of

population

Orders per

10,000 people

Divorces

per 10,000 4

 

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

First 5

Gilpin and Jefferson

534,445

total

1,066

(582)

1,520

(305)

8.5%

12.5%

44

43

44

51

52

54

51

51

47

48

50

Second

Denver

588,349

Not included in DV totals

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

51

Third

Huerfano and Las Animas

23,847

total

120

(23)

167

(54)

0.9%

0.6%

82

124

127

119

118

136

109

102

114

120

57

Fourth

El Paso and Teller

609,096

total

2,983

(2,315)

3,014

(376)

19.6%

14.3%

140

114

107

103

104

115

109

106

104

98

64

Fifth

Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit

94,775

total

183

(41)

517

(105)

2.3%

2.2%

27

75

66

68

67

73

69

72

75

74

46

Sixth

Archuleta, La Plata, and San Juan

62,686

total

287

(105)

332

(46)

2.0%

1.5%

56

83

86

98

79

87

95

101

103

99

49

Seventh

Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel

97,583

total

584

(221)

710

(295 )

4.2%

2.3%

108

89

95

97

98

106

99

102

120

133

65

Eighth 5

Jackson and Larimer

288,955

total

600

(251)

1,171

(144)

5.8%

6.8%

42

38

42

57

65

74

64

57

59

61

50

Ninth

Garfield, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco

74,964

total

225

(92)

456

(51)

2.2%

1.8%

68

76

78

85

90

81

80

89

84

91

61

Tenth

Pueblo

154,538

711

(461)

1,093

(376)

5.9%

3.6%

56

92

121

127

120

137

121

113

146

117

57

Eleventh

Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, and Park

85,199

total

256

(33)

381

(68)

2.1%

2.0%

51

82

69

77

66

78

72

67

75

75

52

Twelfth

Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache

46,205

total

210

(32)

290

(80)

1.6%

1.1%

80

113

131

104

100

106

114

116

107

108

62

Thirteenth

Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma

78,076

total

228

(87)

375

(159)

2.0%

1.8%

61

61

64

62

75

63

68

65

72

77

49

Fourteenth

Grand, Moffat, and Routt

49,642

total

115

(30)

346

(67)

1.5%

1.2%

44

45

45

62

68

81

76

74

75

93

58

Fifteenth

Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Prowers

20,147

total

49

(27)

94

(26)

0.5%

0.5%

84

80

79

77

82

75

69

79

86

71

47

Sixteenth

Bent, Crowley, and Otero

31,341

total

222

(75)

206

(90)

1.4%

0.7%

93

131

136

163

168

153

125

133

143

137

58

Seventeenth 5

Adams and Broomfield

476,186

total

1,289

(648)

1,642

(254)

9.6%

11.1%

53

67

62

65

66

65

60

56

61

62

48

Eighteenth 5

Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln

845,252

total

2,333

(859)

1,970

(576)

14.1%

19.8%

N/A

46

49

52

59

60

56

50

51

51

51

Nineteenth

Weld

243,750

753

(404)

1,230

(113)

6.5%

5.7%

97

88

101

90

95

95

85

82

86

81

47

Twentieth

Boulder

290,262

500

(214)

804

(83)

4.3%

6.8%

25

48

51

47

44

51

44

46

46

45

44

Twenty first

Mesa

139,082

352

(122)

790

(82)

3.7%

3.3%

75

62

69

74

72

75

76

73

78

82

68

Twenty second

Dolores and Montezuma

27,135

total

195

(65)

222

(106)

1.4%

0.6%

54

55

65

87

95

86

89

90

132

154

60

Totals (minus Denver)

4,273,166

13,261

(6,687)

17,330

(3,456)

 

Av 62

M 67

SD 28

Av 67

M 77

SD 27

Av 69

M 80

SD 30

Av 72

M 84

SD 29

Av74

M 85

SD 28

Av 78

M 88

SD 28

Av 73

M 82

SD 23

Av 70

M 82

SD 24

AV 73

M 89

SD 29

Av 72

M 88

SD 30

Av 53

M 53

SD 7

County populations: U.S. Census Bureau

Restraining orders and divorces: Colorado State Court Tables 17, 29, and 30

Notes:

1. Prior to fiscal 2002 the courts lumped all civil restraining orders together. Statistics for 2002 and subsequent years separate civil and domestic abuse (DA) orders. For consistency with prior years both the total number and (domestic abuse) restraining orders are given. Again for consistency, the total number of civil restraining orders plus domestic violence cases is used to calculate percentages and per capita values. Where domestic abuse orders exceed 50% the values are shown in (bold).

2. A restraining order is mandated by law C.R.S. § 18-1-1001. Prior to 2005 misdemeanor domestic violence cases were lumped with restraining order violations. As of 2005 restraining order violations are tabulated separately and are shown here in parentheses following the sum of misdemeanor domestic violence cases and violations of protection orders. Restraining order violations are shown in bold if they exceed half the number of domestic abuse orders issued.

3. Average is from the sum of civil and criminal restraining order cases (30,591) divided by the state population (4,861,515) minus Denver City and County (588,349).

4. Divorce includes all dissolutions, legal separations, and invalid marriage and totaled 25,641 in 2007.

5. Municipalities within this judicial district may also issue restraining orders and prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases. The state court values given here do not reflect such cases.

Av —Statewide average

 

M —Mean of judicial districts

 

SD — Standard deviation of judicial districts

 

Top


 

A general decline in the numbers of restraining orders begun in 2003 continued in 2007 with the statewide average dropping from the 2003 high of 78 per 10,000 citizens to 72 per 10,000 in 2007. And in 2007 only six of the twenty-two judicial districts exceeded the average by more than one standard deviation.

In 2007 the Third, Seventh, Tenth, Twelfth, Sixteenth, and Twenty second judicial districts now embarrass the state with 120, 133, 117, 108, 137, and 154 domestic violence and protection order cases per 10,000 citizens respectively (Table 55). May god have pity on children and families in these draconian courts.

If restraining orders are being issued at the same ratio of 72 per 10,000 individuals in the entire United States as in Colorado, there are approximately 2.2 million such orders being issued every year. That continues to be a frightening number.

In 2006 there was a major upheaval in the Colorado justice system. 17 of 22 district attorneys were term limited and replaced in January 2006, halfway through the fiscal year covered by Table 55. The impact of the changing of the prosecutorial guard was fully implemented in the 2007 fiscal year. Evident trends include:

• The number of restraining orders issued in the tiny 22 nd Judicial District (Dolores and Montezuma counties) has tripled since 1998, from 54 per 10,000 to 154 in 2007. Since the trend has been continuous for nine years that does not appear to be a statistical fluke. The jump in 2006 to 132 per 10,000 citizens from 90 the previous year, and to an incredible 154 per 10,000 citizens in 2007, reflects the policies of the draconian new district attorney.

• Out-of-control charges of domestic violence and abuse appear to only be getting worse in the 7 th Judicial District, rising to 133 per 10,000 in 2007.

• The 4 th Judicial District, long a leader in tyranny, now seems to be moderating its practices under the new district attorney.


 

Percent of restraining orders versus percent of population in 2007

Top

A simple test of equity is the percentage of restraining orders issued in a judicial district versus the percentage of the population residing in that district. If uniform standards were being applied the percent of population would roughly equal the percent of restraining orders issued in that district and the larger the population of a judicial district the closer the two values should match.

Allowing for differences in the populations of the judicial districts we still find in Table 55 that again in 2007 the Fourth Judicial District has issued an exceptionally high number of restraining orders (19.6% of total) relative to its percentage of the state population (14.3%) sampled. That is especially notable inasmuch as the Fourth has the second largest population of Colorado's judicial districts, 609,096 citizens in 2007.

The Tenth Judicial District is only mid-size (population 154, 538 in 2007) but issues 5.9% of all protection order and domestic violence cases with only 3.6% of the sampled population (Table 55). Similarly, the Seventh issues 4.2% of orders with just 2.3% of the population.

Although small districts, the Sixteenth issues 1.4% of orders, but has only 0.7% of Colorado's population. And the Twenty second issues 1.4% of such orders with just 0.6% of the population.

These five judicial districts fail this simple test of equity.


 

Comparison of domestic violence and abuse with other misdemeanors in 2007

Top

Table 56 is a continuing attempt, for ten years now, to see where and whether protection orders and domestic violence correlate with other societal problems. The implicit assumption in Table 56, as in previous years, is that domestic violence is associated with other problems such as alcoholism, drug use, etc., in a judicial district. For example, underage alcohol abuse and drug use would be associated with abusive or broken homes, and that Joe Six Pack likely gets into other kinds of trouble, e.g., bar brawls, for which he is arrested as well.

However, if all other categories of similar crimes are at or below the state averages except domestic violence, it suggests a witch hunt is being conducted for that specific offense. Such actions by law enforcement officials and the courts are generally regarded as an abuse of process and a violation of the equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.

For 2007 in Table 56 a relationship between domestic violence and abuse and other misdemeanors is discernible in the Fifth, Twelfth, Sixteenth, and Twenty-First Judicial Districts. The Third and Sixteenth judicial districts are depressed rural areas with populations of 24,000 and 31,000 residents, respectively. While the Fifth includes such swank resorts as Vail and Breckenridge, many of the workforce are illegal aliens and wages are generally depressed. Also, the district attorney has a tendency to make headlines for himself, e.g., the Kobe Bryant case.


 
    Table 56: Selected misdemeanor filings in the Colorado courts for fiscal year 2007. Number of filings per 10,000 people.

Judicial district

Colorado Counties

2007

Census

(est.)

Domestic

Violence 1

Underage

Alcohol

Offenses

Drugs

Offense

Against

Persons 2

Offense

Against

Property 3

Fraud

First 4

Gilpin and Jefferson

534,445

total

28

17

22

19

9

1

Second

Denver (not included in totals)

588,349

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Third

Huerfano and Las Animas

23,847

total

70

52

25

31

26

3

Fourth

El Paso and Teller

609,096

total

49

13

32

22

12

1

Fifth

Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, Summit

94,775

total

55

46

46

36

17

1

Sixth

Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan

62,686

total

53

11

21

18

12

0

Seventh

Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale,

Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel

97,583

total

73

27

32

27

13

4

Eighth 4

Jackson and Larimer

288,955

total

41

35

32

21

13

0

Ninth

Garfield, Pitkin, Rio Blanco

74,964

total

61

36

33

33

11

0

Tenth

Pueblo

154,538

71

17

9

20

10

1

Eleventh

Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Park

85,199

total

45

21

27

29

12

10

Twelfth

Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla,

Mineral, Rio Grande, Saguache

46,205

total

63

48

35

49

11

41

Thirteenth

Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma

78,076

total

48

23

32

25

7

3

Fourteenth

Grand, Moffat, and Routt

49,642

total

70

68

51

27

20

1

Fifteenth

Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Prowers

20,147

total

47

37

12

29

18

22

Sixteenth

Bent, Crowley, and Otero

31,341

total

66

32

19

43

18

2

Seventeenth 4

Adams and Broomfield

476,186

total

34

7

19

13

7

0

Eighteenth 4

Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln

845,252

total

23

20

10

12

9

0

Nineteenth

Weld

243,750

50

17

15

15

10

1

Twentieth

Boulder

290,262

28

47

22

15

17

0

Twenty first

Mesa

139,082

57

38

61

27

16

1

Twenty second

Dolores and Montezuma

27,135

total

82

42

33

25

10

5

Statewide average (– Denver)

Mean of 21 judicial districts

Std. deviation—21 judicial districts

41

53

16

23

31

16

24

28

13

19

26

10

11

13

5

2

5

10

County population estimates: U.S. Census Bureau

Misdemeanors: Colorado State Court Table 30

Notes:

1. Domestic violence includes both domestic violence and protection order violation cases.

2. Offenses against persons includes the crimes of assault, child abuse, forgery, harassment, menacing, and sex offenses.

3. Offenses against property includes the crimes of arson, criminal mischief, and theft.

4. Municipalities within this judicial district may also prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence and other crimes. The state court values given here do not reflect such cases.

5. Values that differ from the state average for a given offense by one standard deviation or more are shown in bold.

These relationships are examined over a period of nine years in Table 68.

Perjury prosecutions

Top

As has been true in previous years Colorado courts again failed to aggressively prosecute perjury. Table 30 from the state court administrator only shows 19 cases of perjury in 2007, which is up from the 2 cases prosecuted in 2006. In our experience the only time perjury is prosecuted at all is if the person admits it but the district attorneys in the First and Tenth judicial districts took a little harder look at this pervasive problem in 2007 with 6 and 9 cases respectively.

Subornation of perjury is not a criminal offense in Colorado and in People v. Turner 04 SA 178 the state supreme court ruled that a defendant in a criminal domestic violence case had no right to obtain documentation of what was probably subornation of perjury against him.

The rule of law cannot long endure if perjury continues to be tolerated and subornation of perjury is condoned, protected, and encouraged.

Protection order violations

Top

Beginning in 2005 the state court reported protection order violations separately. Table 30 shows 3,456 total cases of restraining order violations compared with 17,330 domestic violence cases and 6,687 domestic abuse protection orders (Table 55). Since it is quite unlikely that all protection order violations are prosecuted, roughly 20% of all protection orders were probably violated in 2007 and the court records show 14% of restraining orders were violated.

Elsewhere we have pointed out that increasing prosecution of protection order violations has been shown to increase the risk of homicide.

One might question the value and protection provided by court orders that increase one's danger and are so routinely violated.

Top


 

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Last modified 12/20/16