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Colorado Community Corrections Clients Can Seek Early Termination Of Sentence

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer for Colorado Criminal Sentencing Issues

Introduction – As of 2011 – individuals who have been diverted to a half way house – community corrections program in Colorado can seek early termination and also have new rights to credit for residential and non residential confinement. Here is a summary of the new law.

SB 254: Concerning Statutory Changes to Improve Practices for Persons Under Community Supervision

The bill outlines eligibility criteria for diversion clients in community corrections to file a motion for early termination of a sentence with the court.

For eligible diversion clients, the probation officer is required to submit this motion with notification to the district attorney, defendant, and the victim, if any.

Credit For Residential AND Nonresidential Time

If a diversion client is revoked from community corrections and sentenced to prison, the bill also requires the Colorado Department of Corrections to apply credit for time served for both residential and nonresidential time completed in community corrections. Requires that diversion clients who meet the criteria for time credit deductions be eligible for such deductions and removes the existing 25% cap on the amount of time credit deductions that can be awarded.

Here is the Entire Law with the changes included:

For a link to the old law with the changes identified FOLLOW THIS LINK

The introductory portion to 18-1.3-301 (1) (i) (I) 3 and 18-1.3-301 (1) (i) (IV), (1) (i) (VI), (1) (j), and (1) (k), Colorado Revised Statutes WERE AMENDED….

18-1.3-301. Authority to place offenders in community corrections programs

(1) (a) Any judge of a district court may refer any offender convicted of a felony to a community corrections program unless such offender is required to be sentenced pursuant to section 18-1.3-406 (1) or a sentencing provision that requires a sentence to the department of corrections. If an offender who is sentenced pursuant to section 18-1.3-406 (1) has such sentence modified upon the finding of unusual and extenuating circumstances pursuant to such section, such offender may be referred to a community corrections program if such offender is otherwise eligible for such program and is approved for placement pursuant to section 17-27-103 (5), C.R.S., and section 17-27-104 (3), C.R.S. For the purposes of this article, persons sentenced pursuant to the provisions of sections 19-2-908 (1) (a) (I) and (1) (c) (I) (B) and 19-2-910 (2), C.R.S., shall be deemed to be offenders.

(b) In making a direct sentence to a community corrections program, the sentencing court may impose a sentence to community corrections which includes terms, lengths, and conditions pursuant to section 18-1.3-401. The sentencing court may also refer any offender to a community corrections program as a condition of probation pursuant to section 18-1.3-202. Any placement of offenders referred as a direct sentence or as a condition of probation shall be subject to approval pursuant to section 17-27-103 (5), C.R.S., and section 17-27-104 (3), C.R.S.

(b.5) As a condition of every placement in a community corrections program, the court shall require the offender, as a condition of placement, to execute or subscribe a written prior waiver of extradition stating that the offender consents to extradition to this state and waives all formal procedures incidental to extradition proceedings in the event that the offender is arrested in another state upon an allegation that the offender has violated the terms of his or her community corrections placement, and acknowledging that the offender shall not be admitted to bail in any other state pending extradition to this state.

(c) A probation officer, in making a presentence report to the court pursuant to section 16-11-102, C.R.S., or in making a report to the court after a probation violation, may recommend the utilization of a community corrections program in sentencing or resentencing an offender.

(d) If an offender is rejected by a community corrections board or a community corrections program before placement in a program, the court shall promptly resentence the offender. If a sentence to the department of corrections was imposed upon the offender prior to the referral of the offender to community corrections, the resentence shall not exceed the sentence which was originally imposed upon the offender.

(e) If an offender is rejected after acceptance by a community corrections board or a community corrections program, the court may resentence the offender without any further hearing so long as the offender’s sentence does not exceed the sentence which was originally imposed upon the offender.

(f) The probation department of the judicial district in which a community corrections program is located shall have jurisdiction over all offenders sentenced directly to a community corrections program. Such probation department shall initiate arrest warrants, process reports or other official documents regarding offenders at the direction of the court, coordinate with community corrections boards and community corrections programs, review offender supervision and treatment, authorize offender transfers between residential and nonresidential phases of placement, and carry out such other duties as the court directs.

(g) The sentencing court may make appropriate orders for the detention, transfer, or resentencing of any offender whose placement in a community corrections program is terminated pursuant to section 17-27-103 (7), C.R.S., or section 17-27-104 (5), C.R.S. As to any offender held pursuant to section 17-27-104 (6), C.R.S., in a jail operated by a unit of local government in a county other than where the offender’s original conviction occurred, the sentencing court shall order the transfer of the offender to the jail of the county where the original conviction occurred as soon as possible. The sentencing court is not required to provide the offender with an evidentiary hearing pertaining to the rejection of placement in a community corrections program prior to resentencing.

(h) (I) The sentencing court shall have the authority to modify the sentence of an offender who has been directly sentenced to a community corrections program in the same manner as if the offender had been placed on probation.

(II) A defendant who successfully completes the residential phase of a community corrections sentence, has paid the costs of the residential program in full, and is being supervised on nonresidential status at either a minimum or administrative level is eligible for consideration for early termination of his or her community corrections sentence by the court.

(III) When the defendant has met the eligibility criteria enumerated in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (h), the defendant’s probation officer shall submit a petition for early termination of sentence to the court and notify the district attorney and the defendant.

(IV) If victim notification is required, the probation officer shall provide victim notification pursuant to part 3 of article 4.1 of title 24, C.R.S.

(V) In determining whether to grant or deny the petition, the court may consider the following factors:

(A) The defendant’s assessed risk of reoffense;

(B) Victim input, if any;

(C) The defendant’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the sentence or community corrections program;

(D) Completion of any treatment required by the court or community corrections program; and

(E) Other factors deemed relevant by the court.

(VI) The fact that the defendant owes restitution, costs, fees, fines, or surcharges shall not prohibit the court from granting the motion for early termination if the court finds the motion otherwise appropriate.

(i) (I) An offender sentenced directly to a community corrections program by the sentencing court pursuant to this subsection (1) shall be eligible for time credit deductions from the offender’s sentence not to exceed ten days for each month of placement upon a demonstration to the program administrator by the offender that the offender has made consistent progress in the following categories:

(A) Maintenance of employment, education, or training, including attendance, promptness, performance, cooperation, care of materials, and safety;

(B) Development and maintenance of positive social and domestic relations;

(C) Compliance with rules, regulations, and requirements of residential or nonresidential program placement;

(D) Completion and compliance with components of the individualized program plan; and

(E) Demonstration of financial responsibility and accountability.

(II) The administrator of each community corrections program shall develop objective standards for measuring progress in the categories listed in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (i), shall apply such standards consistently to evaluations of all such offenders, and shall develop procedures for recommending the award of time credits to such offenders.

(III) The administrator of each community corrections program shall review the performance record of each offender directly sentenced to such program. Such review shall be conducted at intervals to be determined by each program administrator. Such reviews shall be conducted at least once every six months, but may be conducted at more frequent intervals as determined by the program administrator. If the program administrator determines that the offender engaged in criminal activity during the time period for which the time credits were granted, the program administrator may withdraw the time credits granted during such period.

Prior to the time of the offender’s release, the program administrator shall submit to the sentencing court the time credit deductions granted, withdrawn, or restored consistent with the provisions of this paragraph (i). Such time credit deductions shall be submitted on standardized forms prepared by the division of criminal justice of the department of public safety that include verification by the program administrator that the time credit deductions are true and accurate. The sentencing court shall certify such time credit deductions as part of the offender’s permanent record. Any time credits authorized under this paragraph (i) shall vest upon certification of time credit deductions by the sentencing court at the time of the offender’s release from the program.

(IV) An offender shall not be credited with more than one-half the allowable time credits for any month or portion thereof unless the offender was employed, was unable to be employed due to a disability waiver, or was participating in training, education, or treatment programs which precluded the ability to remain employed. This subparagraph (IV) shall not apply to those offenders excused from such employment or training by the program administrator or for medical reasons.

(V) No time credit deductions shall be granted to any offender for time spent in jail, whether awaiting sentencing, placement in the program, disciplinary action, or as a result of a subsequent arrest, unless such time spent in jail was a prearranged component of the offender’s individualized program plan and the offender has made consistent progress in the categories listed in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (i).

…..

(j) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (k) of this subsection (1), any offender sentenced to the department of corrections subsequent to placement in a community corrections program is entitled to credit against the term of confinement as described in section 17-27-104 (9), C.R.S. The court shall make a finding of the amount of such time credits and include such finding in the mittimus that orders the offender to be placed in the custody of the department of corrections. The department of corrections shall apply credits for residential and nonresidential time completed in a community corrections program in the same manner as credits for time served in a department of corrections facility.

(k) Any offender who escapes from a residential community corrections program or who absconds from a nonresidential community corrections program shall forfeit any time credit deductions earned pursuant to paragraph (i) of this subsection (1) and shall not be credited with any time on escape or absconder status. Within thirty days after an offender’s escape or abscondment, the program administrator shall submit to the sentencing court a statement on the form described in subparagraph (III) of paragraph (i) of this subsection (1) of the time credit deductions that would have been earned by the offender.

(2) (a) Initial referral. The executive director of the department of corrections may transfer any offender who is eligible pursuant to this subsection (2) to a community corrections program if such offender is accepted for placement by a community corrections board pursuant to section 17-27-103, C.R.S., and a community corrections program pursuant to section 17-27-104, C.R.S.

(b) Unless the offender has an active felony warrant or detainer or has refused community placement, the executive director of the department of corrections shall refer an offender who has displayed acceptable institutional behavior for placement in a community corrections program according to the following timeline:

(I) No more than twenty-eight months prior to the offender’s parole eligibility date for any offender who successfully completes a regimented inmate discipline program pursuant to article 27.7 of title 17, C.R.S.;

(II) No more than sixteen months prior to the offender’s parole eligibility date for any offender who is not serving a sentence for an offense referred to in section 18-1.3-406; and

(III) No more than one hundred eighty days prior to the parole eligibility date for any other offender not described in subparagraph (I) or (II) of this paragraph (b).

(c) Prior to placement of an offender in any community corrections program, the executive director of the department of corrections shall give the first right to refuse placement of such offender to the community corrections board and community corrections programs in the community where the offender intends to reside after release from custody of the department of corrections or parole by the state board of parole.

(d) As to any offender held in a county jail pursuant to section 17-27-104 (6), C.R.S., the executive director of the department of corrections shall order transfer of such offender to a facility of the department of corrections as soon as possible.

(e) Subsequent referrals. For an offender who is serving a sentence for a class 1 or 2 felony that constitutes a crime of violence under section 18-1.3-406, excluding escape, and whose parole hearing has been deferred for at least thirty-six months, the executive director of the department of corrections shall not refer the offender for placement in community corrections earlier than six months prior to the date of the offender’s second or any subsequent parole hearing.

(3) The state board of parole may refer any parolee for placement in a community corrections program. Such placement, if approved by the community corrections board pursuant to section 17-27-103, C.R.S., and the community corrections program pursuant to section 17-27-104, C.R.S., may be made a condition of release on parole or as a modification of the conditions of an offender’s parole after release or upon temporary revocation of parole pursuant to section 17-2-103 (11), C.R.S.

(4) District courts, county courts, and other local criminal justice officials may enter into agreements with community corrections programs which include the use of such programs to supervise offenders awaiting trial for felony or misdemeanor offenses, offenders convicted of misdemeanors, or offenders under deferred judgments. Such agreements are subject to review and approval by the community corrections board of the jurisdiction in which any community corrections program making such agreement is located. Any such use of a community corrections program may be supported with funding from local governments, public or private grants, offender fees, and other sources other than the state general fund.

TAGS offender, sentencing, sentence, sentenced, nonviolent, felony, probation, convicted, eligible, fine, restitution, restorative, granted probation, conditions of probation, sentenced to imprisonment, community service, person convicted, term of imprisonment,


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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