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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Bills Introduced.

Legislative Update - New Bills Introduced
CCJRC is excited to announce that this week  three of our most important bills were introduced into the Legislature. They had not been included in our legislative update in the most recent CCJRC newsletter.   We thought that they were important enough that we should send out an update to you. All three bills have been assigned to Senate Judiciary. At this time only SB 241 has been added to the calendar. SB 241 will be heard on Wednesday, April 27th at 1:30.
SB11-241 Concerning Changes Related to the Operation of the Parole Board
Sponsored by: Senators S. King and Carroll and by Representative B. Gardner and Kagan
CCJRC position: Support/Priority
What the bill does:
  • Changes the composition, qualifications and training requirements of the Parole Board.
  • Increases the qualifications and training requirements for administrative hearing officers (AHO) and release hearing officers (RHO) under contract with the Parole Board.
  • Increases the responsibilities of the Board chair.
  • Repeals the sunset on the annual report prepared by the Division of Criminal Justice.
  • Makes modifications to the special needs parole program.
  • Creates a presumption of parole for inmates that meet eligibility criteria and have an ICE detainer.
  • Allows the Parole Board at it’s discretion, to conduct file reviews (in lieu of holding a hearing) when the parole application is for special needs parole or when an inmate meets the presumption of parole due to an active ICE detainer.
CCJRC has a detailed position paper on our website that provides a more thorough analysis of the bill, it’s history and what it does.  Please go to www.ccjrc.org and look under the “What’s New”.  To read the bill in it’s entirety CLICK HERE FOR SB-241
SB11-254 Concerning Statutory Changes to Improve Practices for Persons Under Community Supervision
Sponsored by: Senators Steadman and Carroll and Representative Pace
CCJRC Position: Support/Priority
Summary: SB-254 will increase incentives for diversion clients serving sentences in community corrections by standardizing time credit. This bill also specifies the process by which a diversion client can petition the court for an early termination of their sentence.
What the bill does:      
  • Requires that diversion clients who meet the criteria for time credit deductions be eligible for such time deductions
  • Removes the existing 25% cap on the amount of time credit deductions that can be awarded
  • Specifies the eligibility criteria and procedure by which a community corrections client can be considered by the court for early termination of sentence
  • Gives community corrections discretion in the forfeiting of time credits for those who abscond.
CCJRC will have a detailed position paper on our website that provides a more thorough analysis of the bill, it’s history and what it does.  Please go to www.ccjrc.org and look under the “What’s New” next week. For now, to read the bill in it’s entirety CLICK HERE FOR SB-254
SB11-257 Concerning the Imposition of Effective Parole Supervision
Sponsors: Senators Carroll, Jahn, Hodge, and Steadman
CCJRC Position: Support/priority
Summary: SB11-257 would repeal the statutory mandatory parole sentence that the court is required to impose in addition to a prison sentence. It would go back to the discretionary parole model that was in place prior to July 1, 1993 except in two instances.  One, if a person refuses to see the parole board because they are trying to discharge their sentence inside prison without going out on parole, the parole board will have the authority to order up to 24 months of supervised release. Secondly, if someone is within 15 months of their discharge date the parole board can only deny parole by a majority vote of the entire parole board. 
We know that people are going to be really excited about this bill. We don’t expect this bill to pass because it is such a substantial change and there really isn’t much time left in the legislative session. The sponsors want to raise the issue and have a public hearing as a way of advancing the discussion toward designing a more effective parole structure.
To read the bill in it's entirety CLICK HERE FOR SB11-257 

If you haven't renewed your membership or are ready to become a member of CCJRC you can do so here
Also CCJRC has started our "Freedom Fighters" program.  Instead of giving larger donations once or twice a year, members are making generous monthly donations of $5, $10, $15 or more by credit or debit card or by check.  This allows CCJRC a real opportunity to budget and plan strategically throughout the year so that we can spend more of our time on fighting the battles we all care about and less time on fundraising. Our members really like it because they can budget their giving throughout the year. Go to our secure membership page or give us a call at 303-825-0122. 
CCJRC, 1212 Mariposa St. #6, Denver Co 80204.  Thank you for your support!!

To join right now, online (with a credit card), visit our secure membership page

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