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.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Audit Discover Parole Records in Disarray

An audit looking at a jump in early paroles instead found record-keeping problems that make it nearly impossible to track how well Parole Board members make decisions on discretionary releases.

An all-paper system has left authorities guessing at how good their judgment is, how consistent they are in granting parole and why the rate at which inmates receive early release has inched upward since 2005.

Members rarely receive feedback on whether the few thousand prisoners released early each year reoffend.

The three agencies involved in the parole process pledged to install by July an electronic system to produce those statistics, and board members have received laptops in preparation for the change, said board chairman David Michaud.

"We'll get accurate data on each individual who's doing hearings," Michaud said. "If somebody begins seeing a high number of repeat offenders, the question is 'What am I missing?' "

The tracking deficits came to light during an audit prompted by Republican lawmakers concerned about a 35 percent increase in the number of early releases between 2006 and 2007.

Part of the jump came from more inmates becoming eligible for early release, though the percent of applicants paroled early has climbed from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2008.

Auditors said policy changes — such as lessening the seriousness of some drug crimes — may have led to the rise.

Department of Corrections officials said they also started releasing prisoners slated for Saturday and Sunday departures a few days early after weekend bus service from the prisons ended.

The findings deflated some of the criticism of Republicans who have used the spike to paint a picture of a liberalized board releasing inmates to cut prison costs.

Denver Post


Anonymous said...

lock up the republicans. Look at the mess they have put this country in in the last eight years.djw

Anonymous said...

If you lived in Illinois you wouldn't just blame the Republicans!!!It's not a party thing - serving the public has become a lifelong career, with all the graft and corruption that comes with it!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with djw on this one. Serving the public is exactly what these public servants should be doing. They should not be corrupting the system. We The People pay them. Excuse me .. OVERpay them.

A member on CCJJ board:

(received) below-average rating: (NOT) "treating everyone politely and with respect, and having empathy with the parties involved."

Fourth Judicial District:

"Reported to be biased and unfair in family issues."

Once this person is off the board (obviously playing both sides), I will contribute to CCJRC with pride. As it stands, I can't trust those in so-called trusted positions.

A member of CCJJ is not concerned about reducing the prison population. Bias and an imperial attitude are revolting characteristics.

We have been amBUSHed these past 8 years and are suffering for it today.

Go figure.

Thank you, djw.

Anonymous said...

What is so disturbing about the parole board is not the statistics but their total lack of training in Parole law and what this article points out, that they feel themselves to be above the law.

My friend Dan had many writeups (35) by one single guard at Limon, so he was put into Colorado State Prison, at age 20, to spend 23 hours a day in his cell (Cruel and unusual punishment)for the next 4 years. He was diagnosed with HIV and that was not received with any compassion by DOC. He then was put on trial on July 3, 2007 and sentenced, illegally, to 33 months in state prison, until I pointed out to Michaud that this parole board member, Lisa Waggner, made a horrible mistake, based upon state law (SB252) FOR WHICH SHE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE, and was not trained on the laws that she should have been judging the prisoners.
What is really going on with the parole board is that these hearings are conducted without legal representation against the prisoners. The DOC guards can make or break prisoners by making up COPD crimes and keeping them in prison. The parole board members are not answerable to anyone. They make decisions based upon a review of the prisoner's file which should not contain anything for which they have served time already. This Lisa Waggner told Dan that she was judging him on his drug use, the 35 writeups that had happened 3 years before and should have been excluded from his file, and snapping a dish towel !!! and then kept him back into prison. However, the only record of the hearing was on a tape that I forced Michaud to review.
Dan's case manager quit the DOC due to these stupid errors, in my opinion, as he kept "losing" Dan's file, which had more incidents (having a pet spider in his cell, for example).
Dan was released last Christmas and died 4 days later of an overdose of drugs, when the DOC refused to treat his broken hand (which he broke when a CO wrote him up again for having a necklace at CTCF) mpc

Anonymous said...

mpc. I feel your pain. This is enough to bring tears to anyone who has a Soul.

I spoke with my son yesterday, and what you have to say about write-ups and the ludicrous parole board is most accurate. Some of these CO's are the ones who need to be behind bars. It is a fact some of them make up excuses for write-ups, OR cover-up their own misbehaviors in front of the hearing officers. A HUGE problem develops when the integrity of the inmate is always dismissed in favor of the CO's so-called "credibility." These corrupted, lying CO's KNOW they can get away with more and more harmful and hurtful actions simply because they choose to target specific individuals.

CCJRC needs to take note of this deceptive behavior on the part of "correctional" employees. There are NO checks and balances.

mpc. Your friend is at peace now. There are no words that can lessen your pain. I would never attempt to minimize your feelings as so many in the DOC and _justice_ system do.

Blessings to your friend Dan, and to You.

With you. ~Marcia~

Anonymous said...

Until they rip the prisons apart nothing is going to change.

Remember Attica?

Anonymous said...