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based on: Profile: LWVCO - Justice System

 
 
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Notes about this profile:

LAC Lobbyists: Jeanette Abelman, Jennifer Hannah


Bill: HB22-1063
Title: Jail Standards Commission
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/14/2022
DescriptionConcerning creation of a jail standards commission to standardize the operation of Colorado jails, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
J. Cooke (R)
J. Coleman (D)
House:
A. Benavidez (D)
J. Amabile (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/28/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

This bill creates a Colorado jail standards commission through the Department of Public Safety. The commission will consist of 20 people, to include law enforcement and mental health professionals. The commission will provide oversight and compliance of the standards they set. The bill has a JEDI impact.

Update: This bill was amended so that it will no longer be a committee that develops statewide standards for jails but instead will make recommendations, which the legislature will then take and hopefully adopt into laws as reflected in those recommendations. Rep Amabile acknowledges some shortcomings in the amended version of hte bill thinks it is a step in the right direction. It is now getting more support from law enforcement due to the amendments.   The bill passed out of committee on a vote of 7-4 and was referred to  Appropriations with amendments on 2-9-22.   LWVCO supports the bill as it could provide guidance to jails in the state which currently have no standards.  Under the bill the committee has until 12-31-23 to make their recommendations. 

Update: On April 28, 2022 the original fiscal note was revised to reflect changes made by amendment to the bill at the House April 26, 2022 appropriations committee hearing.  These changes moved the jail standards committee from the Department of Public Safety to a legislative oversight committee. In the bill, a commission is set up to work in conjunction with the oversight committee. After meeting for a year, the commission will report back to the legislative oversight committee and make recommendations regarding statewide jail standards. The legislature can, in turn, propose legislation to address the recommendations with up to three bills during the 2024 legislative session. The commission and the committee will be repealed July 1, 2024. The appropriation for the 2022-23 year is $96,039. The bill passed the appropriations committee on a 7/4 vote and was referred  as amended to the legislative council, which will meet April 29, 2022. 

Summary

The bill creates the Colorado jail standards commission
(commission) in the department of public safety. The commission creates
standards for the operation of Colorado's county jails (jails) and updates
the standards as necessary. The commission consists of the following 20
members:
  • 5 sheriffs or senior jail administrators;

  • 2 county commissioners;
  • 3 people with lived experience of being incarcerated or
having a family member who is or was incarcerated in a
jail;
  • One mental health professional with experience working in
a jail;
  • One health professional with experience working in a jail;
  • One person representing a lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, or queer advocacy organization;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the
rights of people with disabilities;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the
rights of communities of color;
  • One person representing an organization advocating for the
rights of persons with mental or physical disabilities;
  • One non-law-enforcement person with experience working
in a jail, appointed by the executive director of the
department of public safety;
  • The state public defender or the state public defender's
designee;
  • One district attorney, appointed by the Colorado district
attorneys' council; and
  • One person representing the department of public safety
with expertise in jail operations.
The commission shall develop standards for all aspects of jail
operations as follows:
  • Reception and release;
  • Classification of inmates;
  • Security;
  • Housing;
  • Sanitation and environmental conditions;
  • Communication;
  • Visitation;
  • Health care, mental and behavioral health care, and dental
care;
  • Food service;
  • Recreation and programming;
  • Inmate disciplinary processes;
  • Restrictive housing;
  • Inmate grievances;
  • Staffing; and
  • Inmates' prerogatives.
The commission shall establish standards regarding oversight of
the standards; compliance with the standards, including a requirement for
a biennial compliance inspection of each jail; a complaint process and
investigation process; and possible sanctions for noncompliance with or
violations of the standards. The department of public safety shall
promulgate rules adopting the standards and possible sanctions.
The department of public safety shall provide oversight of the
implementation of the standards. The commission shall evaluate the
effectiveness of the standards after implementation and make any needed
changes to the standards.
The bill sunsets the commission on September 1, 2029.

House SponsorsA. Benavidez (D)
J. Amabile (D)
Senate SponsorsJ. Cooke (R)
J. Coleman (D)
House CommitteeJudiciary
Senate CommitteeJudiciary
StatusSigned by the President of the Senate (06/06/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1067
Title: Clarifiying Changes To Ensure Prompt Bond Hearings
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/14/2022
DescriptionConcerning clarifying changes to measures that ensure defendants have a prompt bond hearing, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Courts & Judicial
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
P. Lee (D)
R. Rodriguez (D)
House:
S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
S. Woodrow (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/20/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

In 2021, a bill was passed requiring bond hearings in all state courts to take place within 48 hours (HB21-1280). The bill excluded municipal courts. This bill brings the two in line by requiring a bond hearing to take place within 48 hours when someone is held solely for a municipal violation or release them with a new court date.  The law currently says the bond hearing must take place within two calendar days excluding Sundays and federal holidays. Some defendants have been held for up to six days for these low-level offenses, causing loss of jobs, disruptions to their family life and mental well-being. Many of the people arrested for these municipal crimes are the underserved and most vulnerable in our community such as the mentally ill, drug addicted, and the homeless. Many of the municipal courts only meet once a week. Current case law states that it is a violation of the due process clause to hold someone longer than 48 hours without a bond hearing. 

The bill is being supported by the state AG's office and with the amendments made at the hearing, the Colorado Municipal League legislative committee moved from not supporting to being neutral on the bill. Concerns regarding costs associated with extending court hours to comply with the bill, are being addressed separately by the judicial committee.  Many of the cases are for failures to appear.  A new potential system of sending a text message to remind people of their court appearance will help to cut down on these FTA arrests.

The amendments to the bill make exceptions to the 48 hours when the defendant is unable to attend a bond hearing due to mental illness, refusal to attend, or debilitating illness or an emergency that causes a court closure. These amendments helped to address some of the concerns testified to by two municipal judges.

The last part of the bill does not affect bond money. It is a provision to move the funds directly to the Department of Law to the grant program where they were originally intended to go when HB21-1280 was passed last year. According to the AG's office it will reduce administrative costs which eat away at some of these funds. There is no net change in the General Fund. There may be a cost to counties that decide to hold weekend court instead of releasing detainees, but those costs are unknown. 

The bill was moved to appropriations on 2/15/22.

Update: The bill was heard by the senate judiciary committee on April 21, 2022.  There was testimony from several municipal judges in opposition to the bill because they may need to meet on weekends to hold bond hearings in order to comply with the 48 hours requirement or release those being held on a PR bond. There was also testimony from several organizations asking to amend the bill so that municipalities do not have to meet on weekends and to extend the 48 hours requirement to Monday afternoon.  Several organizations testified in support of the bill, many of whom were victims of violence who stated that the sooner the case was heard and then transferred into the county or district court level, the sooner that victim rights benefits would become available. There was also testimony giving statistics on how many municipal violations are given to either the mentally ill or homeless for things like littering and they often spend more time in jail awaiting a bond hearing than they would serve for the violation itself. Weighed in the balance, the bill helps to address a significant issue for the most vulnerable in our community.  All county and district courts are required to set bond within 48 hours; money or staffing should not be the determining factor when it comes to civil rights. Especially for low level crimes.  The state DA supports the bill as it pertains to funding and shifting where the current monies go. The bill passed on a 3-2 vote and will be heard in appropriations April 29, 2022 at 8:15 am.  

 

Summary

Under current law, when a defendant is detained in jail on a
municipal hold, the defendant must receive a hearing before the
municipal court within 2 calendar days, excluding Sundays and federal
holidays. The bill requires the hearing to be held within 48 hours after the
defendant arrives at the jail.
The bill makes clarifying changes to the district attorney assistance

for bond hearings grant program and repeals the district attorney
assistance for bond hearings cash fund.

House SponsorsS. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
S. Woodrow (D)
Senate SponsorsP. Lee (D)
R. Rodriguez (D)
House CommitteeJudiciary
Senate CommitteeJudiciary
StatusGovernor Signed (05/27/2022)
Amendments
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