Operated by the Denver Sheriff Department, this facility holds up to 1,500 inmates awaiting trial.
Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey
Former Denver Juvenile Court Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey was born on November 25, 1869, in Jackson, Tennessee. The main provider for his family after his father’s death, Judge Lindsey dropped out of high school in Denver to deliver newspapers and work as a janitor. After years of hard work and perseverance, Judge Lindsey eventually clerked for an attorney and passed the bar exam. Subsequent to practicing law, he was appointed a public administrator and guardian in the County Court and named a county judge in 1900 at the age of 31.
In 1903, Judge Lindsey engineered Colorado’s Juvenile Court Act, which along with another law in 1907, established the Juvenile and Family Relations Court. He pioneered the use of a stand-alone juvenile court system that still exists in Denver today. Judge Lindsey favored informal disposition of cases and had an uncanny ability to personally relate to impoverished youth. Around the U.S., he was referred to as the “Kids’ Judge.” Additionally, Judge Lindsey fought the KKK and political corruption, particularly in his book, The Beast.
In 1934, Judge Lindsey was elected Superior Court judge in California, a position he held until his death on March 26, 1943. He is remembered as a progressive reformer and juvenile justice pioneer, and a prominent figure in Denver’s history.
Judge James C. Flanigan
Judge James C. Flanigan, the grandson of a slave, came from humble beginnings and became the first college graduate in his family when he received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Denver.
He later became the first African American to serve as a deputy district attorney, the first to serve as a Municipal Court judge for the City and County of Denver, and the first to be appointed to serve as a Denver District Court judge. Judge Flanigan also founded the YMCA bowling league in 1955, served on the Glenarm YMCA Board of Managers, served as president of the Owl Club of Denver in 1955, served as a member Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and was an active member of Shorter Community A.M.E. Church.
During his legal career in the courts and as a deputy district attorney, Judge Flanigan demonstrated excellence in the legal profession and modeled a generous spirit to all. In spite of many obstacles throughout his life, he moved forward with determination and was constant in his service to individuals and to the Denver community at large. He is remembered as a mentor, coach, leader and role model of the community.
Judge Roger Cisneros
Judge Roger Cisneros was born in the small New Mexico hamlet of Questa on January 22, 1924. Educating a boy in those times was a sacrifice for struggling farmers. But sacrifice they did, and as an eighth grader Judge Cisneros achieved the highest IQ test grade in Taos County. He went on to earn medals as a scholar and track star at Menaul High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Judge Cisneros graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in business, completing law school in 1957. He carried on a successful law practice for many years while finding time to serve on multiple civil boards and organizations. In addition to serving on the Denver Commission on Community Relations, the National Advisory Board of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Commission, Judge Cisneros was a founder of the Marlee Garfield Improvement Association, the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA). He also served as president of the Latin American Educational Foundations (LAEF) and the United Latin American Organization.
In 1964, Judge Cisneros ran for the Colorado State Senate, wining his first of three, four-year terms, and retired from the Senate in 1976. He was then appointed to the District Court bench where he served in the domestic, civil and criminal divisions. Judge Cisneros retired in 1986 and served three more years as a senior judge. He is remembered as an extremely able legislator and extraordinary leader.