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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149786 Find in a Library
Title: Brief History of Sentencing Legislation in Colorado
Corporate Author: Colorado Legislative Council
United States of America
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Colorado Legislative Council
Denver, CO 80203
Sale Source: Colorado Legislative Council
State Capitol Building
Denver, CO 80203
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a brief history of sentencing legislation in Colorado from July 1, 1979, to the present, data are provided on corrections costs and inmate populations.
Abstract: Persons convicted for a crime committed in Colorado prior to July 1, 1979, were sentenced under an "indeterminate" sentencing scheme, wherein broad ranges existed between the minimum and maximum number of years to which an offender could be sentenced. Dissatisfied with sentencing disparity under this scheme, the General Assembly enacted a bill that established presumptive sentencing as Colorado's new sentencing philosophy. As enacted, House bill 1589 (1979) requires imposition of a sentence within the presumptive range unless the sentencing judge finds that extraordinary aggravated or mitigating circumstances justify a different sentence. Under the bill, an inmate's release date is based on the sentence imposed, minus good time and earned time, and not on the discretion of the Parole Board. One-year mandatory parole is required upon release from prison. Since that time, major revisions of the bill have occurred in an effort to ameliorate the impact of legislation on the growing prison populations. Inmates are now eligible for parole after serving 50 percent of a sentence for nonviolent crimes and 75 percent of a sentence for a violent crime, less any amount of earned time. Sentence lengths have been increased for habitual criminals and violent offenders. Data show the Colorado State budget for 1983-84 and 1993-94; corrections budgets for each fiscal year from 1980-81 through 1993-94; bed capacity for each facility as of November 30, 1993; the average cost per inmate for fiscal year 1992-93; and the operating cost per inmate by facility for each fiscal year from 1986-87 through 1992-93. Other tables show prison jurisdictional population projections for 1990 through 1993, adult offenders in community-based corrections, and a summary of Colorado victim services.
Main Term(s): Corrections statistics
Index Term(s): Colorado; Corrections costs; Inmate statistics; Sentencing reform
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