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I_JailFunding_2017A 07/31/2017 01:00 PM Committee Summary




Date: 07/31/2017
Time: 01:03 PM to 04:19 PM
Place: SCR 357
Michaelson Jenet
This Meeting was called to order by
Senator Coram
This Report was prepared by
Julia Jackson
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call, R = Remote
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Who is in Jail, Part 1: Parole Violations

Who is in Jail, Part II: Pre-Trial Detention

County Perspective: Montrose County

Public Testimony

Courthouse Preservation, Rehabilitiation, and the State Historical Fund
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

01:04 PM -- Who is in Jail, Part 1: Parole Violations

Joe Morales, Chair, Colorado State Board of Parole, presented on parole issues and parole violators in jail. He noted that he previously served as Summit County Sheriff.

Mr. Morales explained that there are two types of parole violators serving time in county jails: parolees who have committed a new crime, and technical violators who have violated terms of their parole agreement. He described revocation hearings conducted by the Parole Board. He responded to a question about the costs of housing parole violators, and he discussed the role of the board and the Division of Adult Parole in the Department of Corrections.

Annie Andrews, Colorado State Board of Parole, provided details on the amount of time parole violators spend in jail.

Mr. Morales provided examples of technical parole violations in response to a committee member question. He noted that internal sanctions are available before a warrant is issued for arrest. Absconding, failure to comply with treatment, and substance abuse could be examples of technical violations. He described some of the conditions set for parole. Mr. Morales discussed the factors the Parole Board considers when determining whether to revoke parole, noting which conditions could send parolees back to jail or prison or to a halfway house. He noted that some of the guiding statute would be changing under House Bill 17-1326.

Ms. Andrews responded to a question about how much time parolees spend in county jails awaiting a Parole Board hearing, which averages 51 days. Ms. Andrews noted that the 51 days includes time spent on pending charges. Mr. Morales clarified that for new law violations, the charges must be resolved before a Parole Board hearing can be held. He further discussed lawful representation requirements for revocation hearings.

01:24 PM

Mr. Morales explained that the frequency of parole hearings depends on the county and location. He discussed the role of the Parole Board when an individual commits a new law violation. He noted that Department of Corrections determines when counties are reimbursed in these cases.

In response to committee member questions, Mr. Morales discussed the period of revocation and changes under HB 17-1326. He responded to questions about the bill's impact on county jail populations.

01:41 PM -- Who is in Jail, Part II: Pre-Trial Detention

Maureen Cain, Policy Liaison, Office of the State Public Defender, introduced herself to the committee, noting her work as a criminal defense lawyer and her service on the Commission for Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ).

Ms. Cain described the incarcerated pre-trial population, noting that national estimates suggest 60 percent of county jail inmates are pretrial detainees. She provided a packet of information to committee members (Attachment A). She discussed the right to bail and the limits of that right. She continued to discuss bail reform, noting recent legislation supported by the CCJJ.


Ms. Cain discussed the types of release available to pre-trial detainees: personal recognizance (unsecured) bond, unsecured bond with additional conditions, bond with financial conditions (bail), real estate bonds, and, in some counties, pre-trial services programs. She provided examples of these types of release, and she described the role of bail bondsmen in posting bond. She discussed the pre-trial services programs in El Paso, Mesa, and Denver counties, and she noted other counties that offer these programs.

01:54 PM

Ms. Cain discussed the Colorado Pre-Trial Assessment Tool (CPAT), provided in the information packet. She responded to committee member questions about how smaller counties assess risk without using the CPAT. She further responded to committee questions about how CPAT scores are applied. She noted the research behind the scores and risk levels.

Ms. Cain and committee members commented on the biases inherent in tools like the CPAT. She responded to questions about bail legislation, the most recent of which was passed in 2013. Ms. Cain discussed funding for pre-trial services, noting that Colorado does not fund them at the state level, but some states do. She discussed research on the effectiveness of pre-trial services programs.

02:10 PM

Ms. Cain explained that there is no statewide time frame to bring people back to be charged, and she discussed the different time frames among jurisdictions. Ms. Cain estimated that the costs of all county jails statewide amount to around $480 million per year, accounting for as much as 25 percent of counties' budgets.

Committee members questioned Ms. Cain about the effects on public safety of pre-trial release and accelerated timelines for filing charges. She provided examples of different types of offenses and the resulting bond choices, and she discussed the fees associated with collecting bond.

02:26 PM

Committee members discussed with Ms. Cain the timing of an individual's first appearance before a judge, including conducting phone hearings. Ms. Cain discussed bail practices and pre-trial services in Denver, in response to a committee member question. She noted the importance of minimizing jail bed days. She provided an anecdote about the process of releasing low-risk offenders from jail.

02:42 PM

Ms. Cain responded to questions about counties' use of the CPAT. She noted that, for example, Arapahoe County uses its own validated assessment tool.

02:44 PM -- County Perspective: Montrose County

Sheriff Rick Dunlap, Montrose County Sheriff, described the Montrose County Jail and issues he has faced in running the jail. He discussed inmate classification, noting that a number of categories must be addressed. He explained that Montrose County brought in national experts to make recommendations on its classification system, but that his jail has been unable to manage the jail population according to the new classifications. He added that Department of Corrections (DOC) and parole clients with no local charges take up additional bed space.

Sheriff Dunlap emphasized that DOC reimbursements are insufficient. He explained that housing an inmate costs the county $131 a day, far more than DOC reimburses. He discussed the amount of time it can take DOC to transfer its inmates, noting that it is capped at 72 hours in certain counties. In response to a question, Sheriff Dunlap discussed the costs that go into the $131 a day cost figure. He further described the different security needs for county and state inmates, noting that risk classification extends to both types.

Sheriff Dunlap responded to a question about mental health issues in his jail, expressing the opinion that incarceration does not benefit individuals with mental health needs, who are often housed in maximum security cells. He explained that Montrose does not house individuals with mental health holds and no criminal activity, and he discussed his work with the local hospital to address this issue.

02:59 PM

Committee members discussed with Sheriff Dunlap the ability of DOC to receive inmates in a timely fashion and the setting of DOC reimbursement rates. Sheriff Dunlap added that counties are not reimbursed for the first 72 hours an inmate is held.

Sheriff Dunlap responded to a question about how Montrose County provides medical care for inmates, noting that the county contracts with a private company to provide medical services.

03:13 PM

The committee recessed.

03:29 PM -- Public Testimony

The committee reconvened.

03:30 PM --
Robert Chase, representing Colorado Coalition of Patients and Caregivers, testified to the committee. He expressed the opinion that unjust criminal statutes cause too many individuals to be jailed and imprisoned. He discussed the role of the General Assembly in enacting these laws.

03:35 PM

Julia Jackson, Legislative Council Staff, informed the committee of future meeting dates: August 28, September 11, and October 23. She discussed agenda items to be considered at these meetings.

03:40 PM

The committee recessed.

03:50 PM -- Courthouse Preservation, Rehabilitation, and the State Historical Fund

Mark Rodman, Director of Preservation Programs, History Colorado, introduced the committee to State Historical Fund (SHF) grants. He provided a packet of information to committee members (Attachment B). He noted that only governments and nonprofit organizations can receive grants, and properties must have a historic designation to be eligible to receive grant funds.


Mr. Rodman described non-competitive grants for historic structure assessments. He discussed the competitive grant process, noting the options available to county courthouse buildings. He explained that the maximum grant amount is $200,000, and applicants must provide a 25 percent cash match.

Mr. Rodman responded to questions about the amount of grant funds going to different areas and the cash match requirements for the grants. He further discussed grant eligibility requirements. Committee members discussed with Mr. Rodman the General Assembly's role in setting policies to guide the issuance of SHF grants.

04:08 PM

Mr. Rodman discussed the distribution of SHF funds and grants. He described the types of projects eligible and ineligible for SHF grants and provided examples. He walked through specific courthouse examples, with pictures provided in the information packet: Costilla, Jackson, Bent, Logan, and Huerfano counties.

04:19 PM

The committee adjourned.

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