The Denver Post
An audit of Colorado's parole operations is being expanded to review whether budget issues are keeping parole officers from placing some high-risk parolees under intensive, electronic-monitoring supervision.
Roger Werholtz, interim director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, has asked the National Institute of Corrections to expand the scope of its audit into the state's parole operations to cover budget issues, spokeswoman Alison Morgan said Thursday.
On Wednesday, Tim Hand, the state's director of parole, was put on a paid leave of absence. Hand has not returned telephone calls seeking comment. Morgan declined to discuss the reasons he had been placed on leave.
The parole division has been under scrutiny since the killing of prisons chief Tom Clements by a parolee in March.
In an interview in April with The Denver Post, Hand spoke of the challenges of monitoring parolees on intensive supervision.
"We're in a situation where you manage people closely when they first come out, but 800 new people are coming out of prison every month, and you have to put new groups on high risk," Hand said.
But he later said budget issues are not a factor in determining who is monitored electronically.
Documents obtained by The Post through an open-records request show that the state has in some cases been unable to place or keep parolees under intensive supervision, which requires electronic monitoring and extra scrutiny, because of "caps" or budgetary limitations on the program.
In one of those cases, a parolee who was an alleged American Nazi Party recruit went on to kill a woman in Colorado Springs. In another, a parolee killed a 79-year-old
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
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, May 24, 2013
The Denver Post