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i_sentencingreform_2017a_2017-07-11t09:08:34z2 Hearing Summary

Date: 07/11/2017

Location: SCR 357


Discussion Item: Who is in Prison and Why?


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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09:47 AM -- Discussion Item: Who is in Prison and Why?

A panel consisting of personnel from the Department of Corrections (DOC), the Judicial Branch, and the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) within the Department of Public Safety (DPS) assembled to address issues related to the prison population and how they came to be incarcerated. Ms. Christina Rosendahl, Legislative Liaison for DOC, provided an overview of the state's prison population. Committee members received copies of DOC's 2015 statistical report (a copy of the report may be accessed at:, a fact sheet on DOC's costs per offender broken down by facility (Attachment A), two fact sheets about probation (Attachments B and C), a memorandum concerning the recent increase in the prison population (Attachment D), a packet of slides support DCJ's presentation (Attachment E), and a chart cataloging Colorado's statutes that modify sentences (Attachment F). Ms. Rosendahl responded to questions regarding the prison population administered by DOC, and costs associated with incarceration. Discussion ensued regarding a private prison that recently closed on the Eastern Plains. Mr. Travis Trani, Director of Prisons for DOC, provided input on the issue.

170711 AttachA.pdf170711 AttachA.pdf170711 AttachB.pdf170711 AttachB.pdf170711 AttachC.pdf170711 AttachC.pdf170711 AttachD.pdf170711 AttachD.pdf170711 AttachE.pdf170711 AttachE.pdf170711 AttachF.pdf170711 AttachF.pdf

10:04 AM

Mr. Trani responded to questions regarding technical parole violations. He then discussed, and answered questions about, the demographics of the prison population. Mr. Trani then discussed lengths of prison sentences. Ms. Mary Carlson, Manager of Time and Release Operations for DOC, discussed sentencing for habitual offenders. Ms. Carlson responded to questions regarding "earned time" for offenders, and presumptive sentencing ranges.

10:20 AM

Ms. Carlson responded to questions regarding the number of inmates incarcerated for habitual offenses, and sentencing requirements for certain crimes. Ms. Kim English, Research Director for DCJ, and Ms. Linda Harrison, Senior Analyst for DCJ, walked the committee through Attachments D and E. Discussion ensued regarding certain factors influencing the growth in the prison population, including statewide population growth. Ms. English then returned to her presentation. She responded to questions regarding rate increases for certain crimes.

10:45 AM

The committee, Ms. English, and Mr. Mike Garcia, Director of Probation Services in the Judicial Branch, discussed probation revocation. Ms. English continued her presentation and discussed parole releases. She responded to questions concerning incarceration in other states. The committee and Ms. English continued to discuss the study of prison populations.

10:54 AM

Mr. Garcia discussed probation, focusing on revocation, including technical violations. He discussed the data in Attachments B and C. Mr. Garcia responded to questions regarding certain potential correlations between criminal filings and probationers. He then outlined the sorts of violations that result in revocation.

11:03 AM

The committee recessed.