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.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chairman Questions Parole Releases

Grand Junction Sentinel - The chairman of Colorado’s parole board attributed a recent, controversial statistical spike in the state’s discretionary parole releases to faulty figures.

David Michaud, chairman of the state’s parole board and a former Denver chief of police, said when he saw the Department of Corrections had recorded an 80 percent jump in early, discretionary parole releases from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2007, he was baffled.

According to Colorado Department of Colorado statistics, the number of prisoners released on discretionary parole during that period spiked from 2,813 to 5,069 after nearly a decade of relatively flat release numbers.

“It’s just insane. It’s crazy,” Michaud said. “Those numbers are not accurate.”....

.....He said a spike in the number of inmates whose mandatory parole dates came up last year on weekends or holidays could have increased the statistical spike in the number of discretionary parole releases that lawmakers and others have criticized..

“If an offender’s discharge date, his mandatory release date or his statutory release date comes up on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, they will for reasons of transportation and reporting to their parole officer when they go out ... release them two to three days early,” he said. “They will mark that as a discretionary parole (release).”

Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, said he has been working with the governor’s office to prepare an audit on the parole situation, but he had not heard Michaud’s explanations.

Penry said his first concern is that a new board, with a majority of Ritter appointees, has decided to change its policies without any public discussion.

“This is a potentially major change in policy with no discussion or debate,” Penry said. “Obviously something is different.”

Vern Saint Vincent, a former Aurora police chief and former parole board member, said the surge in discretionary parole releases prior to July 1, when his appointment ended, was partially because of his board’s desire to get hundreds of persons granted parole but not released out of the system.....

....An open records request filed with the governor’s office last week revealed no correspondence between Ritter and the parole board concerning discretionary parole releases.

Grand Junction Sentinel

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

excuses,excuses,excuses this is all we hear ...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm not complaining. I believe, like the Chairman, that there is some other explanation. Nonetheless, let's begin to let folks out on parole! Woo-hoo!

Anonymous said...

There are many problems with the Parole system in Colorado and it starts at the top. This ex-police chief has never learned his job and is judging people and leading judges who have no experience nor inclination to judge. They have no training in the law and refuse to abide by the US Constitution by the violation of double jeopardy and lack of legal representation. Each and every day they violate state law SB252, by keeping those eligible for parole for "technical" reasons. The entire goal of the DOC is to build prisons, keep prisons full, and keep the 6500 DOC employees happy, under the cloak of security.

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