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i_sentencingreform_2017a_2017-08-09t09:04:26z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/09/2017

Location: SCR 357


Practitioner's Perspective: Advocates for those Impacted by Crime


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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09:04 AM -- Practitioner's Perspective: Advocates for those Impacted by Crime

The committee was called to order. All members were present. Chairman Lee made some opening remarks about the committee, its charge, and its efforts so far. Ms. Nancy Lewis, Executive Director, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA); Ms. Sasha Hutchings, Director, Victim Services Network, Denver District Attorney's Office; Ms. Monica Chambers, Victim Services Coordinator, Colorado Department of Corrections; and Ms. Emily Tofte Nestaval, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, appeared before the committee to discuss their perspectives on sentencing in Colorado's criminal justice system. Committee members received a Department of Corrections (DOC) time computation diagram prepared by COVA (Attachment A), background information on the DOC's Victim Notification Program (Attachment B), and a pamphlet about the DOC Victim Offender Dialogue Program (Attachment C). Ms. Hutchings discussed some data on the crime rate in Colorado, and the need for transparency in criminal justice and criminal sentencing.

170809 AttachA.pdf170809 AttachA.pdf170809 AttachB.pdf170809 AttachB.pdf170809 AttachC.pdf170809 AttachC.pdf

09:17 AM

Ms. Chambers provided an overview of the Victim Notification Program. Ms. Chambers responded to questions regarding funding sources for the Victim Notification Program. Discussion ensued regarding credits received against an offender's sentencing for presentence confinement, as shown in Attachment A, and the Victim & Offender Dialogue Program.

09:31 AM

Ms. Tofte Nestaval provided further input on how the victim notification process operates, and suggested some ways for improving the process. Ms. Tofte Nestaval responded to questions regarding the best way to balance early release of offenders and victim notification, and the potential for changing the Victim Notification Program from an "opt-in" program to an "opt-out" program during the entire length of the process. Ms. Lewis provided input on the latter issue. Discussion followed regarding the manner in which crime victims are notified about case milestones, such as release of an offender.

09:46 AM

Ms. Lewis responded to questions regarding why a crime victim might not want to be notified of case developments, and issues raised during earlier discussion.