Colorado to release 6,400 prisoners

15 Sep

prison_bars2Colorado Department of Corrections officials underreported by thousands the number of prisoners  who are eligible for early release under a $19 million budget-cutting plan.

The early-release plan, announced Aug. 18, is part of a plan to shore up a $318 million gap in this year’s budget.

DOC officials have been reporting that 3,400 prisoners could be released over a two-year period. But internal reports obtained Monday say that is how many could be released in the 2009-10 budget year alone. Another 2,928 inmates would be let go the following year, Corrections budget manager Deb Kuglar said Monday.

The Corrections Department was to begin the early release of prisoners on Sept. 1. However, delays in setting up the program and reviewing case files have pushed the release date back weeks.

To make room for the thousands of offenders being released early to parole, about 2,600 former inmates currently on parole will no longer be supervised.

Those parolees must have completed 50 percent of their parole period, or at least six months, and completed all of their goals, Sanguinetti said.

The early-release program was proposed as a cost-saving measure following a finding by the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice that lengthy parole terms do not result in lower recidivism rates, she said.

from the Denver Post

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