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i_sentencingreform_2017a_2017-09-13t09:17:49z1 Hearing Summary

Date: 09/13/2017

Location: RM 271


Perspective: Criminal Justice System and Factors Driving Incarceration


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09:19 AM -- Overview and Perspective: Criminal Justice System and Factors Driving Incarceration

Ms. Jeanne Smith, former director, Division of Criminal Justice within the Department of Public Safety, provided her perspective on Colorado's criminal justice system, and discussed some factors that may be driving incarceration in the state. Ms. Smith discussed trends in offending and recidivism, and the reasons behind the passage of certain laws that remove discretion within the system. Ms. Smith discussed the Parole Board, and the need for programming to assist those who are returning to the community from the criminal justice system.

09:29 AM

Ms. Smith continued to discuss the genesis of certain sentencing laws, and discussed the benefits of making sentencing more transparent. Ms. Smith responded to questions regarding legislation adopted by the General Assembly in recent years seeking to improve the transition of offenders to the community upon release, and the potential for augmenting this program. Ms. Smith offered her opinions on how to best reform Colorado's sentencing scheme, and the need for a parole board under a determinate sentencing scheme.

09:44 AM

Ms. Smith continued to respond to questions regarding how best to change Colorado's sentencing scheme for better outcomes, focusing on extraordinary risk crimes, crimes of violence, and sentencing ranges. Ms. Smith responded to further questions regarding aggravated sentencing for certain categories of victim. Discussion ensued regarding maximizing the use of community corrections programming, and a report pertaining to the Governor's Community Corrections Advisory Council.

09:55 AM

Ms. Smith responded to questions regarding her philosophy on the criminal justice system's approach to drug use and possession, and potential approaches to improving the parole hearing process.

10:05 AM

Ms. Smith responded to questions regarding a potential relocation of certain corrections system functions, such as diagnostic intake.