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H_JUD_2017A 01/08/2018 09:05:54 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON JOINT JUDICIARY
Date 01/08/2018
Attendance
Benavidez X
Carver X
Cooke E
Coram E
Fields E
Foote E
Herod X
Kagan E
Lundeen X
Melton E
Salazar X
Weissman X
Willett X
Wist E
Gardner X
Lee X
Time 09:05:54 AM to 04:33:20 PM
Place RM 271
This Meeting was called to order by Lee
This Report was prepared by Bo Pogue
Hearing Items Action Taken
Judicial Branch Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Department of Public Safety Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Office of the State Public Defender Presentation Committee Discussion Only
Child Protection Ombudsman Presentation Committee Discussion Only
State Board of Parole Presentation Committee Discussion Only

Judicial Branch Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


09:06:25 AM  

The committee was called to order.  A quorum was present. 

Nancy Rice, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, briefed the committee under the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25.  Chief Justice Rice was joined by Mr. Christopher T. Ryan, State Court Administrator.  Chief Justice Rice provided an overview of the Judicial Branch and its activities.  Chief Justice Rice discussed Judicial's FY 2018-19 budget request and also covered problem solving courts.  Mr. Ryan provided clarifying remarks on these issues.

09:19:40 AM  

Mr. Ryan responded to questions regarding the potential for trading resources across judicial district lines. Chief Justice Rice returned to briefing the committee on the Judicial Branch's FY 2018-19 budget request. She then outlined the branch's 2018 legislative agenda.

09:30:42 AM  

Chief Justice Rice discussed Judicial Branch audits and reported to the committee on restorative justice with input from Mr. Ryan. Discussion ensued about certain recent interactions between Colorado probation officers at the local level and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

09:51:03 AM  

The committee discussed the state's civil court system and the loss of confidence in it.  The handling of domestic relations cases by the Judicial Branch was also questioned, and data was presented on multi-year case filings (Attachment A).  The hearing topic then turned to an investigation conducted by the Judicial Branch on sexual harassment within the branch.

 

 

 

10:02:20 AM  

The following persons testified regarding the Judicial Branch:



Mr. Michael Dell, representing Colorado Cure, testified regarding the registration of sex offenders within Colorado's judicial system. Discussion ensued regarding legislation that may come forward in the 2018 legislative session regarding sex offender registration.

10:09:26 AM  

Mr. Arash Johanian, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, testified regarding recent contacts by Colorado probation officers to ICE.  Discussion ensued regarding the issues raised by Mr. Johanian.

10:15:59 AM  

Ms. Julie Gonzales, representing the Meyer Law Office, testified regarding the use of judicial resources to address immigration-related issues.

10:19:37 AM  

Mr. Dennis Maes, representing himself, testified regarding the use of polygraph tests for sex offense cases.

10:24:08 AM  

Mr. Augustine Garcia, representing Advocates for Change, testified regarding the use of polygraph testing by the Sex Offender Management Board.  The committee discussed polygraphs and their use for managing the sex offender population.

A letter from Dale Jenkins regarding polygraph testing was distributed to the committee (Attachment B).



Department of Public Safety Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


10:36:39 AM  

Mr. Stan Hilkey, Executive Director, Department of Public Safety, briefed the committee pursuant to the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25. Committee members received a packet of information, including a collection of presentation slides, the department's performance plan and regulatory agenda, and other associated documents (Attachment C). Mr. Hilkey walked the committee through the slide presentation, reviewing such issues as the department's FY 2018-19 budget request.

10:48:28 AM  

Director Hilkey responded to questions regarding certain line items within the department's FY 2018-19 budget request, including funds intended to address black market marijuana.  Director Hilkey also discussed the position of the department on certain forthcoming legislation, and departmental efforts to address substance abuse.  Director Hilkey responded to questions regarding the placement of departmental resources based on location, and de-escalation training within the department's law enforcement branches.

11:01:36 AM  

Discussion returned to the black market marijuana issue. Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief, Colorado State Patrol (CSP), briefed the committee on CSP's mission, activities, and goals. Discussion ensued regarding the reasons behind an increase in motor vehicle accidents involving injury and death in Colorado. Chief Packard next discussed CSP's efforts to address the opioid epidemic, and responded to questions regarding motorists' failure to yield when CSP officers and others are parked on the shoulder of a road.

11:17:58 AM  

Discussion continued regarding the policing of transportation corridors, troop strength, hiring plans, and security at the State Capitol.  Mr. John Camper, Director, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), briefed the committee on CBI's activities and goals.

11:29:28 AM  

Director Camper continued to brief the committee on CBI's activities. Director Camper responded to questions regarding the use of polygraph tests for investigative purposes, and the aggregation of hate crimes statistics. Discussion returned to the use of polygraphs by CBI, and then to the administration of background checks by CBI for firearms purchases.

11:57:59 AM  

Surveillance and identity verification tools used by CBI were discussed.  Mr. Mike Morgan, Director, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, addressed the committee concerning the division's activities and goals. Director Morgan responded to questions regarding the division's oversight, drone aircraft, and the division's Center of Excellence.

12:07:42 PM  

Mr. Kevin Klein, Director, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, briefed the committee on the division's mission, activities, and goals. Director Klein responded to questions regarding the reporting of Federal Emergency Management Agency plans by local governments, and the division's prioritization of homeland security grants.

12:19:53 PM  

Director Klein answered questions regarding the division's ability to respond to threats from places such as North Korea and other state cyber-security initiatives. Mr. Joe Thome, Director, Division of Criminal Justice, briefed the committee on the activities and goals of the division.

12:31:10 PM  

Director Thome continued to brief the committee on the Division of Criminal Justice's activities and goals. Director Thome responded to questions regarding the accuracy of crime projections that impact budgeting, and the sentencing and treatment of sex offenders. Discussion ensued regarding the utility of community corrections programming.

12:48:26 PM  

The committee discussed studies undertaken by the Division of Criminal Justice into racial disparities at major decision points in the criminal justice system.



Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


12:53:23 PM  

Director Hilkey, chair of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) was joined Mr. Doug Wilson, Vice Chair of the commission, to brief the committee on the CCJJ pursuant to the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25. Committee members received a packet of presentation materials (Attachment D), which Director Hilkey and Mr. Wilson presented to the committee.

01:03:34 PM  

Director Hilkey responded to questions about certain pre-trial programs, and the work of the CCJJ Pretrial Task Force. Director Hilkey returned to briefing the committee on CCJJ's activities. Discussion encompassed race/ethnicity disparities at major decision points in the justice system, as studied under Senate Bill 15-185.

01:16:22 PM  

Director Hilkey continued his presentation and discussed behavioral health issues in the criminal justice system, including trial competency. Director Hilkey returned to briefing the committee on CCJJ legislative recommendations and recently passed commission-sponsored bills. Director Hilkey responded to questions regarding the impact of facilitating housing and employment for offenders reentering society. Discussion followed regarding the potential reauthorization of the CCJJ.

01:32:54 PM  

The committee recessed.



Office of the State Public Defender Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


01:53:06 PM  

Doug Wilson, State Public Defender, briefed the committee under the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25.  He gave opening comments and a short overview of the office, including statutory requirements, and distributed a related packet (Attachment E).  Mr. Clark  reported on the number of offices and trial attorneys across the state.   Mr. Wilson also discussed the 5 percent budget request increase in response to workload and case filings.  



A document comparing budgets and salaries between the State Public Defender Trial Offices and the District Attorney's Office was distributed (Attachment F).  Mr. Wilson explained that the Public Defender's Office is understaffed compared to the District Attorney's Office and operates on a smaller budget as well.

Mr. Wilson answered questions from the committee about staffing discrepancies and the impact on workload  as a result of increased felony filings, especially relating to drugs and assault.  

The committee discussed alternative dispositions, diversion, treatment, social workers for juveniles, and restorative justice.  Mr. Wilson reported that staffing is low for diversionary tactics.

Maureen Cain, representing the Colorado State Public Defender's Office, joined Mr. Wilson at the table and distributed a handout regarding filing statistics (Attachment G).  She noted the increase in drug filings and reported that filings in general are outpacing population growth and the crime rate.  The committee and representatives from the Public Deferder's Office discussed possible reasons for this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Child Protection Ombudsman Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


02:33:15 PM  

Stephanie Villafuerte, Child Protection Ombudsman from the Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman, briefed the committee under the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25.   She distributed a handout (Attachment H) and provided a brief overview of the responsibilities and activities of the office. Ms. Villafuerte also reported on the office workload and highlights from the past year, including the launch of statewide investigations, a new website, office efficiencies, and outreach campaigns. 

Ms. Villafuerte responded to committee questions regarding the Division of Youth Services, mental health services and assessments, foster care, and adoption studies. 

 

 

 

02:59:48 PM  

Jordan Steffen, Communications and Policy Director at the Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman, walked the commitee through the new website. Ms. Steffen reported that the response time is the same for filing complaints on-line or by phone. 



State Board of Parole Presentation - Committee Discussion Only


03:03:51 PM  

Rebecca Oakes, vice chair of the State Parole Board, briefed the committee under the SMART Government Act and Joint Rule 25.  She distributed a handout (Attachment I) that covers the the compsition of the board, terms, and related statistics. 

Alexandra Walker, member of the Parole Board, also shared information about parole board procedures and explained the differences between discretionary parole and mandatory release dates.  She also discussed the relationship between community corrections and parole. 

The committee discussed the number of parole board members and if there is a need for another member.  Ms. Oakes provided an overivew of measures the parole board has implemented to alleviate the workload increase, including contracting out for revocation hearings.  The committee discussed information sharing between agencies and other models for parole boards. 

 

03:25:56 PM  

Ms. Walker responded to committee questions regarding assessment instruments, deferrals, and treatment.  She also discussed the other factors that go into considering whether an inmate is ready for parole and updated the committee on revisions to the Colorado State Parole Administrative Release Guidelines.  Further discussion was held regarding LEAN initiatives and other efficiencies, parole board goals, and homeless parolees.  

 

04:00:14 PM  

Ray Harlan, representing Colorado Victims for Justice, discussed the importance of the parole board functioning as an independent entity.  

04:09:01 PM  

Sharon Anable, representing herself, provided personal testimony regarding parole and the lack of information shared with victims. 

 

04:20:12 PM  

Tim Lopez, representing Denver Democrats, testified in support of the parole board and also offered suggestions for improvement that addressed risk assessment instruments and treatment requirements.  He also recommended that the parole board hire a liaison to better facilitate information sharing and communication.


04:33:20 PM   Committee Adjourned






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