Colorado community corrections program provides sentencing alternatives for individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. These programs may be available for defendants
- who are otherwise ineligible for probation supervision or
- who have served a portion of their prison sentence and are awaiting parole placement.
In this article, our Denver Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:
- 1. What is a community corrections program?
- 2. Who is eligible?
- 3. What are the terms?
- 4. What happens if I violate the terms?
- 5. What happens when I complete the program?
- 6. Related Topics
1. What is a community corrections program?
Community corrections programs (CCPs) provide a sentencing alternative for individuals convicted of nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors (such as substance abuse crimes) in the state of Colorado.
These criminal justice programs may be available for individuals that are
- ineligible for probation supervision, or
- who have served a portion of their prison sentence and are awaiting parole placement.
Offenders participating in a CCP are under residential supervision for program compliance and public safety. There are residential community corrections programs as well as non-residential community corrections programs.
During CCP participation, these transition offenders or direct sentence / diversion clients are required to gain employment. They may also be required to attend
- educational classes,
- drug or alcohol treatment, or
- other individualized counseling.
Once individuals have demonstrated they can follow the program rules, they may be eligible to spend more time in the community.
2. Who is eligible?
Not everyone is eligible for community corrections placement. However, any judge may refer any offender convicted of a felony to a CCP unless the offender is required to be sentenced pursuant to incarceration. Even defendants sentenced to incarceration may receive referrals to a CCP upon the finding of unusual and extenuating circumstances.1
A recommendation for participation in a CCP may be made by a Department of Corrections case manager / probation officer in a presentence report to the judicial district court. Alternatively, a probation officer may recommend the CCP in sentencing or resentencing after the parolee violates the terms of parole.2
Even if a defendant is recommended for a CCP, they may be immediately resentenced if he or she is rejected by local community corrections board members or a CCP before placement. The defendant can even be resentenced without a hearing after acceptance into the program if he or she is rejected, provided the sentence does not exceed his or her original sentence.34
3. What are the terms?
The terms of participating in a CCP depend on the individual situation. The terms of probation may be based on a presentence report from a probation officer. The sentencing court may impose a sentence to a CCP which includes
- lengths, and
- conditions of participation in the program. 5
As a condition of placement in a CCP, the defendant will be required to submit a written waiver of extradition. This means that if the offender violates the terms of their program and is arrested in another state, he or she shall not be admitted bail in any other state pending extradition to Colorado.6
Individual terms of participating in a CCP may include conditions similar to those during parole or probation, including:
- Maintain employment
- Submit to random searches
- Submit to random drug or alcohol testing
- Alcohol testing device
- Restricted curfews
- Mandatory counseling and treatment services
- Drug or alcohol education
- Payment of supervision fees
- Weapons restrictions
- Intensive residential treatment
- Mental health treatment
- Intensive supervision
- Paying child support
- Staying in community corrections facilities / halfway houses / therapeutic communities
Specialized programs and services are offered to sex offenders.
4. What happens if I violate the terms?
The probation department has jurisdiction over individuals participating in the community corrections program. The probation department has the authority to
- initiate arrest warrants for county jail,
- process reports,
- coordinate with CCP boards,
- review offender supervision and treatment,
- authorize offender transfers between residential and nonresidential phases of placement, and
- carry out other duties.7
If you violate the terms of the CCP, the court may immediately
- resentence you to incarceration,
- extend the terms of your sentence,
- add additional restrictions, or
- continue the CCP sentence.
If a participant is terminated or rejected from a CCP after having been sentenced to the program for a level 4 drug felony, the court shall conduct a resentencing hearing in order to comply with each exhaustion of remedy provision.8
5. What happens when I complete the program?
“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 CCP sentence by the court.”9
Success in the CCP is based on a number of factors. A defender sentenced to a CCP may be eligible for time credit deductions of up to 10 days for each month of placement, based on the administrator’s assessment of progress based on:
- Maintenance of employment, education, or training, including attendance, promptness, performance, cooperation, care of materials, and safety;
- Development and maintenance of positive social and domestic relations;
- Compliance with rules, regulations, and requirements of residential or nonresidential program placement;
- Completion and compliance with components of the individualized program plan; and
- Demonstration of financial responsibility and accountability.10
After successful completion of the program, the defendant’s probation officer may submit a petition for early termination of sentence to the court and notify the district attorney and the defendant, subject to victim notification.11
In deciding whether to grant or deny early termination, the court may consider a number of factors related to the defendant’s rehabilitation and the potential safety risk to the community. These factors include:
- The defendant’s assessed risk of reoffending (recidivism);
- The victim or victims input, if any;
- The defendant’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the sentence or CCP;
- Completion of any treatment required by the court or CCP; and
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.12
6. Related Topics
6.1. Alternatives in Imposition of Sentence CRS 18-1.3-104
In Colorado, the trial court has a number of alternatives in entering judgment for a criminal sentence. Sentencing options range from probation, specialized restitution, and community service programs to imprisonment or the death sentence.
Sentencing alternatives depend on
- the specific crime,
- the defendant’s history, and
- the potential impact on the safety of the victims.
6.2. Alternative Imposition of Sentence for Drug Felonies CRS 18-1.3-104.5
The law provides alternative imposition of sentences for certain felony drug cases. During sentencing or resentence after revocation of probation, the court may consider all reasonable and appropriate alternative sentences, including treatment programs or probation.
6.3. Home Detention Programs CRS 18-1.3-106
Some individuals may be able to leave detention during necessary and reasonable hours for seeking employment, working, attending school, or seeking medical treatment. Home detention is an alternative correctional sentence where the defendant remains within their approved residence at all times except for court-approved activities.
6.4. Collateral Relief CRS 18-1.3-107
When the defendant entered into alternative sentencing, the court may enter an order of collateral relief which is intended to improve the defendant’s likelihood of success, including preserving or improving the defendant’s job and employment prospects.
See our related article, Mesa County Community Corrections – How it works.
- Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC)
- DOC COVID-19 Updates
- Department of Public Safety, Parole Board
- Justice Services
- the Office of Community Corrections Services
- State General Fund
- Domestic Violence Offender Management
- the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ)
- Mesa County Community Corrections – How It Works
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(a)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(c)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(d)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(e)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(b)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(b.5)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(f)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(g.5)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(II)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(VI)(i)(I)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(III)
- CRS 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(V)