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Jail Standards Commission

Concerning creation of a jail standards commission to standardize the operation of Colorado jails, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2022 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

The bill creates the legislative oversight committee (committee) concerning Colorado jail standards The bill creates and the Colorado jail standards commission (commission) in the department of public safety legislative branch . The committee consists of 6 members of the General Assembly and oversees the commission. The committee may introduce up to 3 pieces of legislation in the 2024 session based on recommendations from the commission.

The commission creates recommends standards for the operation of Colorado's county jails (jails). and updates the standards as necessary. The commission consists of the following 20 22 members:

  • 5 sheriffs or senior jail administrators;
  • 2 county commissioners;
  • 3 people with lived experience of being incarcerated or having a family member who is or was incarcerated in a jail;
  • One mental health professional with experience working in a jail;
  • One person representing competency services;
  • One person representing behavioral health administration;
  • One person representing police officers;
  • One health professional with experience working in a jail ;
  • One person representing a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer advocacy organization;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the rights of people with disabilities;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the rights of communities of color;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the rights of persons with mental or physical disabilities;
  • One non-law-enforcement person with experience working in a jail, appointed by the executive director of the department of public safety;
  • The state public defender or the state public defender's designee;
  • One district attorney, appointed by the Colorado district attorneys' council; and
  • One person representing the department of public safety with expertise in jail operations.

The commission shall develop recommend standards for all aspects of jail operations as follows:

  • Reception and release;
  • Classification of inmates;
  • Security;
  • Housing;
  • Sanitation and environmental conditions;
  • Communication;
  • Visitation;
  • Health care, mental and behavioral health care, and dental care;
  • Food service;
  • Recreation and programming;
  • Inmate disciplinary processes;
  • Restrictive housing;
  • Inmate grievances;
  • Staffing; and
  • Inmates' prerogatives.

The commission shall establish standards regarding oversight of the standards; compliance with the standards, including a requirement for a biennial compliance inspection of each jail; a complaint process and investigation process; and possible sanctions for noncompliance with or violations of the standards. The department of public safety shall promulgate rules adopting the standards and possible sanctions.The department of public safety shall provide oversight of the implementation of the standards. The commission shall evaluate the effectiveness of the standards after implementation and make any needed changes to the standards.The commission shall complete a report that includes its recommendations regarding the feasability of jails of various sizes and their ability to implement the recommendations and present it to the committee for approval by November 15, 2023.

The bill sunsets the committee and commission on September 1, 2029 July 1, 2024 .The bill appropriates $96,039 from the general fund to the legislative department.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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Bill Text