Prison Population Reduction And Management
Under current law, the Centennial south campus of the Centennial correctional facility is only able to house inmates under limited circumstances. The act opens the facility for up to 650 close custody inmates.
The act requires the executive director of the department of corrections (department), to develop and rely upon criteria for the protection of the health, safety, and financial interests of the state of Colorado related to housing out-of-state prisoners in private prisons in Colorado. The act gives the executive director the authority to rescind his or her approval for placement of out-of-state prisoners in a Colorado private prison.
The act directs the division of local government (division) in the department of local affairs to contract with a nationally recognized research and consulting entity to study future prison bed needs in Colorado. While conducting the study, the entity shall solicit input from local communities and other interested parties or issue experts, including but not limited to public safety experts, victim's advocates, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and community reentry providers and shall convene an advisory committee with representatives from the areas that have a private prison to consult with the entity during the study. The division shall hold public hearings in the areas that have a private prison to allow public input on the study. The study must include:
- An analysis of the economic and other impacts that potential prison closure would have on local governments and the wider community and recommendations on strategies to diversify the local economy;
- A utilization analysis of all state and privately operated facilities and all other facilities that can be used for housing inmates; and
- An analysis of the feasibility of the department to obtain privately owned facilities or utilize unused state-owned buildings in Colorado.
The division shall report the study to the judiciary committees of the senate and house of representatives during the committees' SMART Act hearings held during the 2021 session.
The act adds to the list of achievements that allow an inmate to receive earned time showing exemplary leadership through mentoring, community service, and distinguished actions benefitting the health, safety, environment, and culture for staff and other inmates.
Under current law, an offender is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing for resentencing when the offender is rejected for placement in a community corrections program. The act requires the sentencing court to provide the offender with a new sentencing hearing for any termination from a community corrections program.
The act amends the escape statutes to exclude from the concepts of custody or confinement for purposes of escape:
- Direct sentences to, or transitioning from the department to, a community corrections program;
- Participating in a work release or home detention program;
- Intensive supervision program or any other similar authorized supervised or unsupervised absence from a detention facility;
- Being housed in a staff-secure facility; or
- Placement in an intensive supervision parole program.
The act creates a new crime of unauthorized absence if the person is serving a supervised sentence outside of a prison and:
- Leaves or fails to return to his or her residential or facility location without permission of the supervising agency and in violation of the terms and conditions of supervision; or
- Removes or tampers with an electronic monitoring device required by the supervising agency to be worn by the person in order to monitor his or her location without permission and with the intent to avoid arrest, prosecution, monitoring, or other legal processes.
The act appropriates $250,000 from the general fund for the required study. The act makes adjustments to the appropriations to department of corrections for the operation of the Centennial south campus of the Centennial correctional facility.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)