(March 17) – The House Judiciary Committee gave unanimous approval to a bill by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, that improves public safety by ensuring judges have the options they need when substance abuse treatment is necessary.

“This bill promotes change in the people who need it most,” said Rep. Lee. “All the options should be on the table for the courts to make the best recommendation when the underlying cause of an offense is drug use. We want to continue the trend of treating folks rather than jailing them.”

Currently, courts may require a substance abuse treatment program as a part of probation only for probationers convicted of drug crimes. HB16-1278 allows the court to send any probationers who have serious substance abuse problems, as determined by assessment, to receive treatment, regardless of whether the offense that got them into probation was a drug crime.

The unanimous 11-0 vote sends the bill to the House floor for second reading.

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