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

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

Parole From Prison

Colorado Parole From Prison

Colorado has a mandatory parole system. That means every person sentenced to the Department of Corrections must complete parole as part of their release from custody. Essentially, no one can ever “kill” their sentence as they will always complete parole as part of their reintegration back into the community. The only crime that is not eligible for parole is a class 1 felony offense.

Release Dates And Timing

For most inmates, parole eligibility happens after completing 50% of their sentence. Specifically, pursuant to C.R.S. 17-22.5-403, any person sentenced for a class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5, class 6, or any unspecified felony, is eligible for parole after serving fifty percent of the sentence imposed less any earned time.

However, for people convicted of certain violent offenses and crimes of violence, such as second-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree kidnapping (unless the kidnapping is a class 1 felony), first-degree arson, first-degree burglary, and aggravated robbery, inmates are not eligible for parole until they have served 75% of their sentence, less any earned time.

Inmates can earn up to 10 days (12 days for low-level felony offenses) per month of incarceration as earned time, provided they demonstrate “consistent progress” toward their rehabilitation.

Parole Procedures In Colorado

Inmates eligible for parole are seen by the Parole Board at least 90 days prior to their eligibility date. Before an inmate is released from custody, a DOC case manager will help them create a parole plan that details their plans for returning to the community, including where they will live and work. This plan will be investigated and the information verified. This means that parole can contact and visit anyone identified as a potential resource for the parolee.

The Parole Board conducts inmate release hearings. An inmate can have their attorney represent them. At these hearings, an inmate’s parole application is reviewed and the inmate is interviewed. A determination is made of whether the inmate is appropriate for release, and if so, the conditions of parole. Historically, approximately 35% of eligible parolees are released each year. When parole applications are denied, a future hearing date is set by the Board. A lawyer can improve an inmate’s chance of release.

Parole Community Supervision

The Division of Adult Parole “DAP” is responsible for supervising adult parolees upon their release to the community. The DAP is responsible for (1) creating and administering appropriate education programs to rehabilitate the parolee and (2) keeping records of all parolees. Additionally, every parolee is compelled to submit to random drug and alcohol testing. The DAP also classifies each parolee to determine the appropriate level of supervision within 30 days of their release. These classification levels are reassessed every 6 months. Classification levels are new, unclassified, intensive supervision, maximum, medium, minimum and administrative. The classification levels determine the frequency with which parolees must personally check in with their parole officer and the frequency of home and employment visits. Parole can be revoked (see Parole Revocation Hearings) if a parolee fails to obey conditions of his supervision.

If you or a loved one has questions regarding the parole process or want legal representation at a parole hearing, contact an experienced parole hearing lawyer today.