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I_SentencingReform_2017A 07/11/2017 09:00 AM Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



SENTENCING IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Date: 07/11/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 09:08 AM to 03:03 PM
Kagan
X
Lundberg
X
Place: SCR 357
Weissman
X
Wist
*
This Meeting was called to order by
Cooke
*
Representative Lee
Lee
X
This Report was prepared by
Bo Pogue
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Opening Remarks by Chair and Committee Members

Interim Committee Process

Discussion Item: Who is in Prison and Why?

Presumptive Parole

Overview of Colorado's Sentencing Scheme

Community Corrections in Colorado

Public Testimony

Other Business
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

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only





09:09 AM -- Opening Remarks by Chair and Committee Members



The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Lee, chair, provided opening remarks on the committee's charge and expectations during this interim. Senator Kagan discussed his hopes and expectations for the committee during the interim, commenting on the state's criminal justice system.



09:27 AM



Various committee members provided their opinions on how to proceed with the committee's work in 2017, while commenting on the state's criminal justice system.



09:35 AM -- Interim Committee Process



Mr. Bo Pogue, Legislative Council Staff, outlined the processes observed and some of the rules governing interim committees. The committee discussed various issues related to the interim process and scheduling.







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: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B21TrpBx507cczBTWVduZFRXYzQ/view), 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.



11:19 AM -- Presumptive Parole



The committee returned to order. Dr. Brandon Mathews, State Board of Parole, provided an overview of presumptive parole in Colorado. Committee members received a packet of slides forming the basis of Dr. Mathews' presentation (Attachment G). Dr. Mathews discussed certain impediments to gaining parole from DOC, and the type of violations that result in Code of Penal Discipline violations resulting in parole denial.



170711 AttachG.pdf170711 AttachG.pdf



11:31 AM



Dr. Mathews returned to his presentation. He responded to questions regarding the Justice Reinvestment Crime Prevention Initiative, and what the General Assembly is doing to help or hurt the State Board of Parole's efforts.



11:38 AM



The committee recessed.



01:05 PM -- Overview of Colorado's Sentencing Scheme



The committee returned to order. Mr. Conrad Imel and Ms. Amanda Hayden, Legislative Council Staff, provided an overview of Colorado's sentencing scheme. Committee members received a memorandum providing the basis for the presentation, created by Legislative Council Staff (Attachment H). Mr. Imel walked the committee through the memorandum. Discussion ensued regarding disparate penalties based on the status of the victim, and adjustments for fines. Ms. Kerry White, Legislative Council Staff, provided input on this issue.



170711 AttachH.pdf170711 AttachH.pdf



01:21 PM



Ms. Hayden discussed penalties for drug offenses, as found in Attachment H. Discussion ensued regarding the "wobbler" effect in sentencing and the role of habitual offenses in sentencing.







01:29 PM -- Community Corrections in Colorado



Mr. Glenn Tapia, Director, Office of Community Corrections within DCJ, provided an overview of community corrections programming in Colorado. Committee members received a packet of slides providing the basis for Mr. Tapia's presentation (Attachment I). Mr. Tapia responded to questions regarding treatment providers in and eligibility for certain community corrections programs.



170711 AttachI.pdf170711 AttachI.pdf



01:40 PM



Mr. Tapia continued to brief the committee on community corrections. Mr. Tapia responded to questions regarding financial contributions by those enrolled in community corrections programming to their programs. Discussion ensued regarding the role of local governments in community corrections, and the level of offender financial contributions to community corrections programming. Mr. Tapia returned to his presentation.



01:55 PM



Mr. Tapia continued to walk the committee through Attachment I. He responded to questions regarding how community corrections outcome and recidivism statistics are tabulated.



02:16 PM



Mr. Tapia continued to discuss Attachment I. He responded to questions regarding costs associated with community corrections programming, and the numbers of offenders being diverted to community corrections programs. Discussion ensued regarding ways to improve the use of community corrections programming. Mr. Tapia responded to questions regarding the time frame for matriculating an offender through community corrections.



02:35 PM



Mr. Tapia summarized his presentation. Ms. Jessica Corvinas, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, provided input on community corrections.



02:40 PM -- Public Testimony



Ms. Lela Fletcher, representing herself, testified about the prison sentence received by her husband for armed robbery. She discussed sentencing disparities, and some factors that influence this. Ms. Fletcher discussed some remedies for disparate and unjust prison sentences. Discussion ensued regarding transparency in sentencing.



02:55 PM -- Other Business



The committee discussed future meeting dates and the day's events. The committee also discussed some ideas and expectations for the committee going forward.



03:03 PM



The committee adjourned.




The House of Representatives and Senate will not convene on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28

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