COLORADO- County jails and state prisons throughout the state are facing an ongoing challenge: overcrowding.
A problem that bleeds into other issues for correctional officers and inmates.
‘Assaults are up in the department of corrections, inmate homicides were up, hopefully this will dissipate those assaults on officers,’ said Buffie McFadyen, a former state lawmaker and current administrator for the non-profit Corrections USA.
Colorado also faces a high recidivism rate, which is the rate prisoners return to life behind bars.
The legislation is giving hope to the Department of Corrections new Director, Dean Williams.
I’m hoping that this is the start of dealing with both of those issues- the capacity and getting better results out of parole,’ said Williams.
The bill aims to release more prisoners on parole, and provide resources so they don’t return.
‘Most importantly it should increase the safety levels of the prisons, both for the inmates and the staff,’ said McFadyen.
Additionally, it would allow more inmates eligible for parole by allowing the parole board to look at releasing inmates at three percent vacancy rate instead of two percent.