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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.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ritter Administration Stands By Early Release Decision

More than 200 state inmates—no sex offenders, but probably some convicted of assaults, thefts and drug charges—have left prison so far under a much-debated initiative by Gov. Bill Ritter granting some prisoners parole up to six months early. Ritter administration officials confirmed the updated status of the program this week and say they remain committed to the effort—originally touted as a budget-cutting measure—despite disappointingly low savings.
The early releases, initially projected to save the state budget $19 million, are now likely to net closer to $5 million in savings, according to Ritter administration spokesman Evan Dreyer.
Shortly after the program’s announcement last August, the initiative drew a flurry of attention from the media as well as criticism from some minority Republicans in the legislature who raised concerns about public safety. That was followed by media accounts in October indicating far fewer inmates were deemed appropriate for early release than had been anticipated—meaning scaled-back savings–and that some of those who were being released had extensive and even violent criminal histories.
Dreyer defended the program at the time as “good public policy and good fiscal policy.” However, David Michaud, Chair of the Colorado State Board of Parole, had told the Denver Post that public safety was his primary concern, trumping the budget concerns.
“I’m not going to let someone out early if I don’t think it’s safe,” Michaud said in an Oct. 15 Post report. “I don’t care how much money they save or don’t save.”
The parole board has so far granted early release to a total of 235 prisoners as of Dec. 15.  Michaud said today that no prisoners have been released who have committed serious crimes.


Anonymous said...

Why are they in the department of corrections if they haven't committed a serious crime? jh

Anonymous said...

Ritter's early release program is nothing more than political talk to make people think that DOC's budget is being addressed. Very few people have actually been released early and the majority of parolees due for early release being turned down. Even petty offenders that have worked their behinds off to meet all of paroles expectations. I have been out of DOC for many years, had the same job the entire time, had no missed or hot UA's, completed three different therapy regimines and when put in for early discharge was told that Colorado's parole board just wasn't granting any early releases. Hmmm... How many times have we heard our republican politicians complaining about the number of heinous criminals that are being released back into the community? Are you kidding me? The petty criminals that have proven that they've changed their lives aren't even being released. What a shame!!!

Anonymous said...

jh, you obviously do not know what you are talking about and don't belong here, except perhaps as a silent observer and hopefully a learner.
The early release program is total political propoganda. NO ONE is being released or even considered for release who was not already eligible for release. Unfortunately, the program is being left in the hands of those who have job security (their own and that of their buddies - like Michaud) in mind. They are not interested in serving the public or the inmate population. No one i being served by this progarm. It was total public hype. In order to understand this program. You have to understand enough about hte system to know the difference between Parole Elibibility Dats(PED), Mandatory Release Date (MRD), and Sentence Discharge Date. ALL of the persons who have been released were well past ther PED and very near their MRD (when they system would have had to release them whether they wanted to or not). One was within 16 days from his MRD- whoopee - that saved tax payers a ton!!!! Do your homework. Learn how the system works (or fails to work) and then aremed with some knowledge, take another look at this WONDERFUL nothing program.

Anonymous said...

I have said it before and will once more, if the State legislature truly wants to SAVE money they need to get rid of the Mandatory Parole law they hung on every prisoners sentence, which is double jeopardy, UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IF THEY,(LEGISLATURE)DOESNT ACT SOON THERE APT TO GET A LAW SUIT THEY DONT NEED!!DJW