June 16, 2019

SB 11-241: Concerning Changes Related to the Operation of the Parole Board

On April 19, 2011, Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, and Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, introduced SB 11-241 – Concerning changes related to the operation of the parole board. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The state board of parole is composed of 7 members. The bill requires that 2 members have law enforcement experience and one member have offender supervision experience. The other 4 members must have experience in behavioral health, psychology, offender assessment, offender reentry, victim advocacy, criminal justice policy, or research. Each member shall have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and 5 years experience in his or her field. The board member must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education each year. The chair of the board must develop a manual for the board members, release hearing officers, and administrative hearing officers. The board is permitted to hold parole release reviews without the presence of the inmate at a hearing if the inmate meets certain criteria.

The parole board contracts with administrative hearing officers and release hearing officers to assist with the work of the board. An administrative hearing officer must be an attorney with 5 years of relevant experience. An administrative hearing officer must complete yearly continuing education requirements and comply with all data and information collection requirements of the board. A release hearing officer must have a bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of relevant experience. A hearing release officer must complete yearly continuing education requirements and comply with all data and information collection requirements of the board.

Under current law, inmates who have significant medical needs are eligible for special needs parole. The bill expands the eligibility of inmates who are eligible for special needs parole and requires the department to identify who is eligible for such parole. The department shall make a recommendation as to whether to release the inmate and must develop special needs parole plan for the inmate.

The bill creates presumptions in favor of parole for nonviolent offenders with immigration detainers.

Assigned to the Judiciary Committee; the bill is scheduled for committee review on Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

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