There is currently legislation pending that would stop the practice of labeling people in prison as sex offenders when they have never been convicted of a sex offense. Up until if someone has a an unconvicted sex offense in their history, DOC has been able to label and treat people as sex offenders and require them to go through programming appropriate for that population. This bogs down the system and stops people who do need treatment from getting it because they're aren't treatment slots.
NICK BOYD - Recent news stories have dealt with several questionable aspects of our criminal justice system. While cases where innocent defendants have been exonerated through new evidence are rare, a common abuse by the Colorado Department of Corrections has been ignored by the media. The prison policy of classifying inmates (determining level of security for housing and required program participation) is based upon the court findings and "police reports and other documents" and "underlying facts," rather than the actual conviction.
This policy allows the prison to wrongly label many inmates and treat them more harshly than their crimes warrant. For instance, if the police report states that inmate Nicholbe was arrested for stabbing someone, yet court proceedings later not only did not prove that Nicholbe stabbed anyone, rather, that someone else at the same altercation did the stabbing, DOC can and does rely on the initial police report wording to classify Nicholbe as a violent offender, house him in a more secure prison and require him to participate in programming for violent offenders while denying him opportunities for real rehabilitation like community placement and many vocational courses. DOC classification also affects the inmate's parole chances, because the DOC use of unproven facts in police reports to classify an offender as "violent" result in automatic denial of "early" parole.
The public should call for the governor's criminal justice review commission, now meeting, to recommend that the corrections legislation limit the use of unproven allegations by the prison system in its treatment of inmates