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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CCJRC 2012 Legislative Agenda

CCJRC 2012 Legislative Agenda
February 15, 2012

The following lists all of the current legislation that CCJRC is involved in or monitoring.  We anticipate other bills being introduced and will keep you posted.  It’s been a very interesting session so far.  There are a number of bills on drug policy, juvenile justice, and re-entry.  This is also not a complete list of all the criminal justice related bills that have been introduced. You can go to the General Assembly’s website or track a bill through CCJRC’s website.  Click on this link http://www.ccjrc.org/legislative-info.shtml to learn how to track a bill or to find out who your legislator is.  We will be issuing Action Alerts when we need your help.  We will limit them to the times when we believe community pressure will make a difference.  Thank you so much for your support.

Re-entry/Reducing Collateral Consequences

SB 105:  Concerning Provisions that Improve Reintegration Opportunities For Persons Involved in the Criminal Justice System
Sponsors:  Senator Steadman (D) and Representative Levy (D)
CCJRC position: priority-support (Colorado Criminal Defense Bar is point)
Description: The court, at a defendant's first appearance and at sentencing, shall inform the defendant in writing about the potential collateral consequences of a conviction. At sentencing, the court may issue an order of collateral relief that relieves specific collateral consequences if the defendant is sentenced to probation or a community corrections program. A court may issue a certificate of rehabilitation to a person with a criminal record that relieves collateral consequences associated with the person's offense. The court may issue a certificate of fitness if the person applies for the judgment after he or she has completed a specific period of time after completion of his or her criminal sentence. A certificate of
fitness and order of collateral relief shall be included in the Colorado integrated criminal justice information system (CJIS). The chief information officer for the CJIS shall purge annually the database of
arrest records that did not result in a conviction if the statute of limitations for the crime that caused the arrest has passed. The bill allows a person convicted of a petty offense or a municipal offense to petition the court for sealing the record of the conviction 3 years after the conviction occurred.
Status:  Passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/13 and referred to the Senate Finance Committee 2/15

HB: 1263 Concerning Reducing Barriers to Employment For People With Criminal Records
Sponsors:  Representative Levy (D) and Senator Steadman (D)
CCJRC position: priority support
Description:  If an agency requires an applicant's criminal history in the hiring
process, the agency may not:
  • Unless a statute prohibits a person convicted of a specific crime from serving in that position, indicate that a person with a criminal record may not apply; and
  • Inquire or determine the applicant's criminal history until he agency makes a conditional offer of employment.
If the applicant has a criminal conviction, the agency must consider the following factors when deciding whether the conviction disqualifies the applicant from the position:
  • The nature of the conviction;
  • The relationship between the conviction and the specific position for hire and the bearing, if any, the conviction will have on his or her fitness or ability to perform the duties and responsibilities;
  • Any information produced by the applicant or produced on his or her behalf regarding his or her rehabilitation and good conduct; and
  • The time that has elapsed since the applicant's conviction.
The bill specifies that unless the offense is specifically related to the profession being licensed and was committed within ten years of the application for licensure or unless there is a specific statutory requirement to consider an individual's criminal history when granting a state license, such a consideration is unlawful.
Status:  Assigned to State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee-not yet calendared

HB 1213: Escape from Community Corrections Program
Sponsors: Representative Fields (D) and Senator S. King (R)
CCJRC position:  support (CCJJ recommendation)
Description: Would exclude the crime of “walkaway-escape” from a community corrections program from being used as a triggering offense for habitual criminal prosecution/sentencing.
Status: Scheduled to be heard in House Judiciary Committee on 2/23

HB 1223:  Concerning Earned Time Awarded to Inmates in Prison
Sponsors:  Joint Budget Committee: Representatives Levy (D), Becker (R), Gerou (R) and Senators Steadman (D), Hodge (D) and Lambert (R)
CCJRC position: priority support
Description: This bill would restore eligibility for earned time to people re-incarcerated for a parole revocation and create a new “achievement earned time” of up to 30 days that can be awarded at the discretion of the Director of the Department of Corrections for major program completion or extra-ordinary conduct by an inmate that promotes the safety of staff, volunteers or other inmates.  Also requires that savings from the Department of Corrections budget be reinvested into vocational/educational programming inside prison and re-entry support services for parolees or inmates transitioning through community corrections.
Status:  assigned to House Judiciary Committee and hearing scheduled for 2/21

Drug Policy

SB 20: Immunity for Reporters of Overdose
Sponsors:  Senator Aguilar (D) and Representative Summers (R)
CCJRC position:  priority-support (Drug Policy Alliance-CO is point)
Description:  This bill would create immunity from prosecution for drug possession, drug use, and drug distribution for those individuals that called for emergency medical or law enforcement assistance when someone was in medical crisis from drug or alcohol use.
Status: passed out of the Senate on third and final passage with a vote of 25-10 on 2/14.  Will be introduced in the House shortly.

SB 104:  Concerning Consolidation of Drug Treatment Funding Into the Correctional Treatment Fund  (recommendation of the CO Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice)
Sponsors:  Senator Steadman (D) and Representative DelGrosso (R)
CCJRC position:  priority support
Description: This bill consolidates funding for substance abuse treatment for adult and juvenile offenders. The bill renames the existing Drug Offender Surcharge Fund to the Correctional Treatment Cash Fund (CTCF). The Drug Offender Treatment Fund is repealed, with its fund balance transferred into the new CTCF. Beginning in FY 2012-13, a minimum of $2.2 million is required to be deposited into the fund each year from savings generated by Senate Bill 03-318.The bill repeals the existing six-member committee and Interagency Task Force on Treatment and replaces them with a single eight-member Correctional Treatment Board. The new board includes representation from state and local agencies serving adult and juvenile offenders and is tasked with preparing an annual treatment funding plan.
Status:  passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously on 2/14.

SB 116: Concerning Penalties Associated with Cathinones, and In Connection Therewith, Creating A Misdemeanor Penalty for Possession of Cathinone (aka “bath salts”)
Sponsors:  Senator Foster (D) and Representative Brown (R)
CCJRC position: support  (Colorado Criminal Defense Bar is point)
Description: The bill would classify possession of any quantity of cathinones as a class 1 misdemeanor, distribution of any quantity would be a class 3 felony and distribution by an adult to a minor (where adult is more than 2 years older than minor) would carry a mandatory minimum sentence of at least the minimum but not more than twice the maximum of the presumptive range.  Sale of cathinone would be included in the list of deceptive trade practices under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and would carry a civil fine of no less than $10,000 and no more than $500,000 unless the sale is to a minor and then the fine is no less than $25,000 and no more than $500,000.
Status:  assigned to Senate Local Government Committee; hearing date on 2/21

SB 117:  Penalties for DUI Offenses
Sponsors: Senator S. King (R)
CCJRC position: monitor
Description:  In any prosecution for a driving under the influence (DUI), driving while ability impaired (DWAI), vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide, if at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, or within two hours thereafter, the defendant's blood, urine, or saliva contains any amount of a schedule I controlled substance, except for tetrahydrocannabinols; a schedule II controlled substance; salvia divinorum; or synthetic cannabinoids, or the defendant's blood contains 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood, such fact gives rise to the permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of drugs. The bill expands the existing definition of "DUI per se" to include driving when the driver's blood, urine, or saliva contains any amount of a schedule I controlled substance, except for tetrahydrocannabinols; salvia divinorum; or synthetic cannabinoids, and driving when the defendant's blood contains 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood. The bill removes statutory instances of the term "habitual user".
Status:  Scheduled to be heard in State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on 2/27

HB 1100: Concerning the Admissibility in Criminal Proceedings of the Results of Prenatal Screening for Illegal Substances
Sponsors: Representative Summers (R) and Senator Aguilar
CCJRC position: monitor
Description:  Would limit the admissibility of positive drug screens involving pregnant women in any criminal proceeding. 
Status: Passed the House on third and final reading on a vote of 62-1 (2 excused) on 2/9.  Introduced in Senate and assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee; not yet calendared.

HB 1046: Requiring Recipients of benefits from the Colorado Works Program to be required to Undergo Drug Testing
Sponsors:  Representative Sonnenberg (R) and Senator Brophy (R)
CCJRC position: monitor
Description:  The bill requires a person applying for assistance through the Colorado works program (works program) to take a drug test for the presence of controlled substances as a condition of eligibility for assistance. If an applicant fails the drug test, the applicant may reapply for assistance 1 year after the date of the drug test. However, a person may reapply after 6 months if the person successfully completes a substance abuse treatment program. The applicant is required to pay the cost of the drug test. If the
applicant passes the drug test, the applicant's initial assistance will be increased by the cost of the drug test. The dependent child of an applicant who fails the drug test shall still be eligible to receive assistance, but the county department of human services will be required to approve a protective payee to receive the
assistance on behalf of the dependent child. The protective payee will also need to pass the drug test.
Status: Passed in the Health & Environment Committee on a 7-5 vote on 2/9; referred to Appropriations Committee-not yet calendared.
Juvenile Justice

HB 1139:  Concerning Pretrial Detention of Children Prosecuted as Adults
Sponsors: Representatives Levy (D), Fields (D), Barker (R), Court (D), Kagan (D), Massey (R), McCann (D), McKinley (D), Nikkel (R), Solano (D), Young (D) and Senator Guzman (D)
CCJRC position:  support (Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition is point)
Description:  The bill prohibits a juvenile who is to be tried as an adult from being held in an adult jail or pretrial facility unless the district court, after a hearing, finds that an adult jail or pretrial facility is the appropriate place of confinement for the juvenile. The bill sets forth a list of factors the district court must consider in making its decision.
Status: Passed House Judiciary Committee 10-0 (with 1 excused) on 2/14

HB 1271: Concerning Charging of Juveniles by Direct File or Information or Indictment in District Court
Sponsors:  Representatives Nikkel (R), McCann (D) and Levy (D) and Senator Giron (D)
CCJRC position: support (Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition is point)
Description: Under current law, a juvenile charged with a specific serious crime can be prosecuted in district court under the district attorney's authority to direct file certain juveniles. This bill amends the direct file statute to limit the offenses for which a juvenile may be subject to direct file to class 1 felonies, class 2 felonies, crime of violence felonies for prior violent juvenile offenders, and violent sex offenses.  If, after a preliminary hearing, the district court does not find probable cause for a direct-file-eligible offense, the court shall remand the case to the juvenile court. The bill also provides for a reverse-transfer hearing for juveniles who fall within a specified class, which juveniles may petition the adult criminal court to transfer the case back to juvenile court after the preliminary hearing.  Under the bill, a juvenile's non-felony conviction must be remanded to juvenile court and, when a juvenile sentence is selected, the conviction converts to a juvenile adjudication.
Status: assigned to House Judiciary Committee; not yet calendared for hearing

SB 46:  Concerning Disciplinary Measures in Public Schools
Sponsors:  Senators Newell (D) and Hudak (D) and Representatives Nikkel (R), Levy (D), and Szabo (R)
CCJRC position: support  (CCDB is point)
Status: scheduled to be heard in Senate Education Committee on 2/16

SB 99: Expand Access to Educational Model Juvenile Facility
Sponsors:  Senator Spence (R) and Representative Todd (D)
CCJRC position: oppose
Description:  Would allow the Department of Human Services to also place in Ridgeview Youth Services Center (detention center for committed juveniles) children for whom social services had taken temporary custody or were in need of out of home placement.
Status: passed in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on a 7-2 vote on 2/8

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