Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer
Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Community Corrections

Colorado Community Corrections

Community Corrections is a sentencing alternative to prison for felony cases in Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe County. At sentencing following a plea or finding of guilt, the judge has many alternatives for placement, including probation, county jail, prison, and Community Corrections.

Admittance Criteria For The County Program Placement

Many, but not all Colorado counties offer a locally managed Community Corrections program for felons. Admittance to the program is usually controlled by a local board, comprised of representatives from probation, police, district attorney, treatment professionals, community members and a defense bar member. The strong emphasis is on safety to the public, as each program wants to avoid bad press that one of their clients reoffended while under their care. When a district court judge in Adams, Douglas and Larimer County considers Community Corrections (CC) as a possible sentence, the judge first must have a defendant “screened” for CC. What this means is that there is a pre-sentence acceptance into the CC program. It is called a “direct sentence” to Community Corrections if a judge sends someone there at sentencing.

Colorado Department Of Corrections And Community Corrections

The Colorado Department of Corrections can also house their inmates in a Community Corrections facility if the local program approves. Community risk, where the offense occurred and available funding are all factors considered by the local board. DOC may use Community Corrections as a way to house inmates who are less risky in the community, with the added benefit of cost savings. It costs approximately $32,000 to house a DOC inmate in prison, while it only costs $16,000 to house someone in Community Corrections. This cost decreases even more once the inmate moves to their own apartment. Sex offenders are typically the last to be transitioned to Community Corrections, while drug offenders are the first.

Goals Of Community Corrections Vs. Prison

Community Corrections is designed to house an individual in a less restrictive setting, connect them with more available treatment resources, get them a job and reintegrate them back into society. The Department of Corrections, on the other hand, stresses containment and community safety above anything else. While the cost savings to the State of Colorado is compelling, if an argument can be made that public safety is enhanced with DOC containment, that will rule the day. In today’s economic reality, we believe safety needs to be more closely examined. The reality is that many offenders, including sex offenders, have a very low recidivism rate.

Our lawyers know how to integrate a Community Corrections sentence into sentencing considerations by the judge and district attorney. In many cases, it is a useful alternative to prison. Call us to see how we can save you from a Department of Corrections Sentence. Above all else, if contacted by police, exercise your right to remain silent and call our attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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