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April 29, 2019


Criminal Justice reforms aim to decrease high statewide recidivism rate

(Apr. 29) – With the statewide recidivism rate hovering at 50 percent, the house gave final approval to Rep. Leslie Herod’s bill to reform parole. The bill, SB19-143, will make it harder to deny parole to low-risk offenders, harder to revoke parole for technical violations, and easier for individuals to access reentry services after release. Rep. Herod and House Democrats have a led and passed a number of criminal justice reform related bills this session.

“We have a double crisis in the Department of Corrections: a 50 percent failure rate for those released and prison overcrowding,” said Rep. Herod, D-Denver. “This bill will tackle both issues by making it easier for low-risk individuals to be paroled and then access services when they reenter the community.”

SB19-143 allows the Department of Corrections to better manage their population when the vacancy rate falls below 3 percent. It will better align parole board decision making with the parole release guidelines for people who have been assessed to be less that high risk.

Under the bill, technical parole violations would not be used to send a parolee convicted of certain low level crimes back to prison.

The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 43-22 and now heads back to the Senate for approval of amendments.

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