DENVER, CO– The House Today passed Representative Kerry Tipper and David Ortiz’s bipartisan bill to support individuals leaving the criminal justice system with acquiring state-issued identification cards and other documents necessary to obtain state-issued identification. The bill passed by a vote of 50-13.
“We can’t expect recently incarcerated people to seamlessly reintegrate into their communities if we don’t provide them with basic, necessary support,” said Representative Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood. “In this day and age, an ID is an absolute necessity for accessing education, employment, housing and much more. Simply by helping people leaving prisons obtain identification documents, we’re taking an important step toward lowering recidivism and building stronger communities.”
“Finding stable housing, a good job, and decent health care after a prison sentence is hard enough on its own. Without an ID, it’s nearly impossible,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “I’m proud that we were able to pass this bill today, and I hope it sends a clear message: that we are committed to helping people finishing their prison sentences avoid the mistakes of their past and chart a new path forward.”
SB21-153 requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to operate a program to assist people finishing their prison sentences with acquiring state-issued identification cards and other identification documents, such as a replacement social security card or birth certificate, that are necessary to obtain state-issued identification. This assistance includes determining eligibility, navigating online forms, and providing transportation to and from a facility that issues IDs.