Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008 Legislation On The Calendar

2008 Legislative Session Bills of interest for CCJRC
(1) HB 1082 - CONCERNING THE SEALING OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE RECORDS
Sponsors: Rep. Ferrandino (D) and Senator Bacon (D) CCJRC Position: Support (priority)
Status: House Judiciary Committee hearing 1/30/08 at 1:30pm in HCR0112

Colorado law does not allow a person with a criminal conviction to seal their record – regardless of the nature of the criminal conviction, the length of time since the conviction, or evidence of rehabilitation. Last year, a similar record sealing bill (HB 07-1107) was passed by the House and Senate but vetoed by Governor Ritter. Governor Ritter has indicated that he does not object to the bill in concept but wants to have more crimes excluded from eligibility for sealing. The Governor’s list of crimes is not currently included in the bill as introduced but will be incorporated through amendments.

Summary: This bill would allow people convicted of select crimes to petition the Court to seal a criminal record after they completed their sentence and been offense free for 10 years. Convictions for some crimes would not be eligible to be sealed including: Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses or class A or B traffic infractions, DUI/DWAI, sexual offenses, domestic violence, offense involving a pregnant women or convictions for crimes involve aggravating circumstances, high risk, or special offender sentencing enhancements. · The Court does not have to order the sealing. The Court is required to balance the privacy rights of the petitioner against the public’s right to know on a case by case basis. · For offenses committed before July 1, 2007, the District Attorney will have to agree before the Court can order the record sealed. · Law enforcement will always have access to any sealed record. · Third parties may petition the Court to unseal a record and the names of all people petitioning the court to seal a criminal record will be posted on the judicial website for 30 days. · The petitioner must have paid all of the fines, fees, costs and restitution ordered in the criminal case. The petitioner will also pay a filing fee that is sufficient to cover the cost of the proceeding.

(2) HB 1022 - CONCERNING REQUIREMENTS FOR A MANDATORY CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE FOR ESCAPE CONVICTIONS
Sponsor: Representative T. Carroll CCJRC Position: Support (priority)
Status: Hearing in House Judiciary Committee 2/6/08 at 1:30pm in HCR0112

Summary: Under current state law, a person can be convicted of “escape” if they fail to report or abscond while on ISP or in community corrections. This conviction carries a mandatory, consecutive sentence by law. This bill would only mandate that a consecutive sentence be imposed if someone is convicted of escaping from a Level III, IV, or V prison. (medium security or higher).

(3) HB 1119 - Directs the Colorado commission on criminal and juvenile justice to include in its areas of study the reduction of racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

House Sponsor: Representative Marshall (D) with cosponsors, Representatives Carroll M.(D), Carroll T.(D), Gardner B.(D), Jahn (D), Kerr A.(D), Levy (D), Roberts (R), and Stafford (D); Senate Sponsor: Senator Gordon (D) CCJRC Position: Support (priority)

Status: Assigned to House Judiciary Committee for hearing on 1/30 upon recess (approx 9:30am)

Summary: Directs the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to include in its areas of study the reduction of racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

(4) HB 1004 – Concerning The Authorization Of Law Enforcement Agencies To Work Jointly With School Districts In Enforcing Compulsory School Attendance Laws

Sponsors: Representative Todd (D) and Senator Penry (R) CCJRC Position –Oppose (Priority)

Status: Heard in House Education Committee and tabled (maybe re-assigned to Judiciary Committee)

Summary: Allows a uniformed law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a child is truant to take the child into temporary custody for the purpose of returning the child to school authorities. Prohibits the officer from transporting the child to a juvenile detention facility or jail if the officer takes the child into temporary custody. Requires a school district board of education to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a municipality or other governmental entity concerning authorization of a law enforcement agency's enforcement of compulsory school attendance laws. Repeals the authorization on a specified date.

(5) HB 1046 - CONCERNING PROCEDURES TO FACILITATE THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC BENEFITS TO OFFENDERS TRANSITIONING FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

House Sponsor: Stafford (D), and Solano (D) Senate Sponsor: Windels (D), and Boyd (D) CCJRC

Position: Support (monitor) Status: Scheduled for hearing in the House Judiciary Committee 1/30, 1:30pm (HCR 0112)

Summary: For juveniles in a commitment center and certain persons confined in a facility of the department of human services who meet specified criteria, offers assistance from appropriate personnel in applying for Medicaid, children's basic health plan benefits, supplemental security income ("SSI"), or social security disability insurance ("SSDI"). Stipulates that the person shall receive such assistance at least 120 days prior to release, or sooner if possible. Requires the department of human services to provide information and training on the SSI or SSDI application process and assistance to personnel at each facility. Requires the department of health care policy and financing to provide information and training on the Medicaid application process and assistance to personnel at each facility. Mandates that the department of health care policy and financing simplify the processing of applications for Medicaid and the children's basic health plan and that the department of human services simplify the processing of applications for SSI and SSDI to allow eligible persons to receive Medicaid as a result of being eligible for SSI or SSDI upon release and thereafter.

(6) SB 006 - CONCERNING SUSPENSION OF MEDICAID BENEFITS FOR PERSONS CONFINED PURSUANT TO A COURT ORDER. House Sponsors: Stafford (D), and Solano (D)

Senate Sponsors: Windels (D), and Boyd (D) CCJRC Position: Support (monitor)

Status: Heard in Senate Judiciary on January 23, 2008

Currently, when someone on Medicaid is confined, their Medicaid benefits are terminated. This can cause very long delays in reinstating Medicaid upon release. This bill is designed to address that problem by allowing Medicaid benefits to be suspended (not terminated) upon confinement. Summary: Suspends Medicaid benefits for persons who are: · In the custody of the department of corrections or confined in a jail; Committed to or detained in a juvenile commitment facility; orCommitted to or placed in a department of human services facility pursuant to court order or certification.

(7) SB 007 - CONCERNING ASSISTANCE TO INMATES PRIOR TO RELEASE FROM COUNTY JAILS.

House Sponsor: Stafford (D) and cosponsor Representative Solano (D) Senate Sponsor: Windels (D), and cosponsor Senator Boyd (D)
CCJRC Position: Support (monitor)

Status: Heard in Senate Judiciary on 1/23/08

Summary: Encourages counties to establish relationships, partnerships, and prerelease agreements with entities involved in providing various benefits to persons released from jail. Directs the department of human services ("state department") and the department of health care policy and financing to provide training to appropriate personnel on the process for applying for public benefits. Establishes a demonstration grant program ("demonstration program") in the state department to award grants to counties or groups of counties that design programs to assist jail inmates in accessing health care, housing, and employment benefits upon release. Directs the state department to submit a report on the demonstration program.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading the things the legislature is working on concerns me. What your overlooking is the way you punish government corruption. I refer to the attorney regulation and the judicial reguation. Those boards do nothing but shuffle paper! also the act of 1999 which gives the IG, DOC, and all your cops the right to dicipline themselves. Thats why you have corruption.
Also look at the punishement.
In your 18-7-701,(custodial rape) a class 5 or 6 felony??? Usually ends up in dismisal.
We the public feel that if a public official lies or commits a crime they should be penalized same as the citizen is. The immunity clauses officials hide behind should be removed.

Anonymous said...

law enforcement demands to have access to sealed records??? My question is why doesnt the public have access to the complaints and charges against police officers, as well as the penaltys given.
I thought the freedom of information was for all?

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