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.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Parole Jump Not As High As Believed

The Legislative Audit showed that the jump in the number of people who had been released was statistically insignificant. The report showed that the numbers went up because of a couple of different factors, one being the passage of SB 318 in 2003. SB 328 created a new lower class of felonies that kept people in prison for a shorter amount of time. There were simply more hearings in 2007 but the percentage of people who achieved parole stayed about the same. Other factors included a rise in population and the opportunity for people to attend and complete certain classes.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mislabeled parolees and a 2005 change in policy were the factors responsible for an apparent spike in the number of felons being released early from Colorado prisons, according to a report presented Monday to the Legislative Audit Committee.

The audit revealed early prison releases have increased 40 percent — from 2,000 in 2006 to 2,800 in 2008 — over the past two years, a vastly smaller increase than one previously reported by the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The Colorado Department of Corrections reported last month that the number of discretionary parole releases, prisoners let out before their sentences were up, nearly doubled over the past two years.

Though not double, the spike in releases largely was the result of mislabeling of thousands of parolees whose release dates fell on a weekend, holiday or Friday.

“In December 2005, the board implemented a policy change allowing offenders whose mandatory parole dates fell on a Friday, weekend day or holiday to be released a few days early to alleviate departmental transportation problems,” according to the audit. “When this change occurred, the department recorded these early mandatory releases as discretionary releases.”

State Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, nonetheless pressed David Michaud, chairman of the Colorado Parole Board, and his peers to account for the increase in parolees.

Michaud said a series of new programs have made felons more “parole-able.”

That said, Jeanne Smith, director of the Division of Criminal Justice at the Department of Public Safety, told the legislative panel it is impossible to cite one factor to account for the increase.

To get at the root of the parole trends, state auditors recommended that the state create a better statistical measure of the number of prisoners granted parole and what happens to them.

Grand Junction Sentinel


Anonymous said...

This article is a lie. The DOC does not release people from prison until the very last day of their sentence. My friend, Daniel Clark #116663 was released from CSP about December 27, 2006 on his mandatory release day. He was not given any "good" credit for his time at Limon. He was not released until after Christmas. He was put back into prison by David Michaud for snapping a dish rag, for an additional 6 months. When he overdosed on drugs at Limon (how did he get the drugs in that prison?) he got an automatic 18 more months in prison and was sent to CSP. He died on December 20, 2007 of another overdose of herion. He was an abuser of drugs, not a dealer. He needed treatment and all he got, at the tender age of 19, was 5 years in state prison. No rehab, no drug programs, nothing...mpc

Anonymous said...

how is someone more paroleable,what kind of shit is that....

sam said...

the biggest thing that gets me is that this article points out but frustratingly does not highlight that these crooks actually have the audacity to call a release from a mandatory date a few days early because of a holiday or a weekend discretionary parole! i guess paroling inmates until their mrds and calling that discretionary wasn't enough. i would absolutely love it and i would volunteer my time if someone would conduct a study of how many inmates get ACTUAL discretionary parole. i'm willing to bet anything the numbers would blow minds.

Anonymous said...

The Colorado parole board and its parole and probation methods should all be changed. That would solve about 90 percent of the people returning to prison. There not sent back because they committed a new big crime, but rather broke one of the many stupid rules used by parole and probation officer's, which are used to get parolee's back in prison. djw

Anonymous said...