(April 12) – Rep. Mike Weissman’s bill to help ex-offenders make a successful transition to life on the outside won unanimous House Judiciary Committee approval today.

A judge can issue what are called orders of collateral relief — exempting individuals from penalties other than incarceration, such as being denied a state-issued license to practice a profession like barbering or plumbing — if the judge decides that doing so will improve the individual’s ability to lead a productive, crime-free life. HB18-1344, sponsored by Reps. Weissman, D-Aurora, and Lang Sias, R-Arvada, would allow an individual to request an order of collateral relief after the time of sentencing, and would add collateral relief provisions to the juvenile justice system.

“Prison terms don’t exist by themselves. Hundreds of federal, state and local laws impose sanctions in addition to a sentence,” Rep. Weissman said. “This bill will allow society to punish and deter crime while giving ex-offenders a better chance to rebuild productive lives.”

HB18-1344, which was endorsed by the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, is headed to the House floor after the Judiciary Committee’s 10-0 vote.

Earlier this afternoon, the Judiciary Committee also approved Rep. Weissman’s bill reauthorizing the CCJJ, which works with the legislative and executive branches of the state government to study the effectiveness of sentencing policies and practices. HB18-1287 passed on a 10-0 vote and was sent to the Appropriations Committee.

 

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