Colorado ranks among the ten worst states in the nation for criminals re-offending after being released from prison. “On average, forty-eight (48) percent of all offenders released from state prison are back in a Colorado state prison within three years,” states a press release from the Boulder County District Attorney’s office.
Boulder County District Attorney, Michael Dougherty, joined the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee to address the problem. The committee was formed by the Legislature in May 2019.
This committee is made up of six legislators and twelve non-legislative members. Dougherty serves on the behalf of the District Attorneys of Colorado.
In the days surrounding October 2, Dougherty, along with the committee, toured several prison facilities including Buena Vista Correctional Facility, Canon City Correctional Complex (including CSP, CSP II, and Fremont Correctional Facility), La Vista Correctional Facility (women’s facility), and the Crowley County Correctional Facility (private prison).
This committee has been looking at ways to reduce recidivism in Colorado by discussing and analyzing the programming and treatment offered in different facilities, the use of private prisons, looking at perspectives on community reentry, and holding hearings to listen to testimony on five different dates.
The next hearing held by the Prison Population Management Interim Study Committee will be held on October 30, 2019.
“It is important for prosecutors—as both elected leaders and criminal justice system stakeholders—to understand and see firsthand the conditions in the places where individuals serve their sentences. I learned a lot from candid conversations with the leadership, staff members, and offenders at each facility. This trip was very helpful to the work on the committee. As a state, we must push to reduce Colorado’s high recidivism rate and improve community reentry for those who are completing their sentences. Failing to do so comes at the expense of victims, offenders, our community, and the taxpayers,” states Dougherty.
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