In Colorado, the community corrections program provides sentencing alternatives for individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. Community corrections programs may be available for defendants who are otherwise ineligible for probation supervision or those who have served a portion of their prison sentence and are awaiting parole placement. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:
- 1. What is a community corrections program?
- 2. Who is eligible for community corrections programs?
- 3. What are the terms of a community corrections program?
- 4. What happens if I violate the terms of the community corrections program?
- 5. What happens when I successfully complete the community corrections program?
- 6. Related Topics
Community corrections programs provide a sentencing alternative for individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. Community corrections programs may be available for individuals that are ineligible for probation supervision, or those who have served a portion of their prison sentence and are awaiting parole placement. Offenders participating in a community corrections program are under residential supervision for program compliance.
During community corrections program participation, individuals 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.
Not everyone is eligible for a community corrections program. However, any judge may refer any offender convicted of a felony to a community corrections program unless the offender is required to be sentenced pursuant to incarceration. Even defendants sentenced to incarceration may be referred to a community corrections program upon the finding of unusual and extenuating circumstances.1
A recommendation for participation in a community corrections program may be made by a probation officer in a presentence report to the court. Alternatively, a probation officer may recommend the community corrections program in sentencing or resentencing after the defendant violates the terms of their parole.2
Even if a defendant is recommended for community corrections, they may be immediately resentenced if he or she is rejected by a community corrections board or a community corrections program 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
The terms of participating in a community corrections program 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 community corrections which include terms, lengths, and conditions of participation in the program. 5
As a condition of placement in a community corrections program, 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 community corrections 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
- Drug or alcohol education
- Payment of supervision fees
- Weapons restrictions
The probation department has jurisdiction over individuals participating in the community corrections program. The probation department has the authority to initiate arrest warrants, process reports, coordinate with community corrections 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 community corrections program, the court may immediately resentence you to incarceration, extend the terms of your sentence, add additional restrictions, or continue the community corrections program sentence.
If a community corrections participant is terminated or rejected from a community corrections program 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
“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.”9
Success in the community corrections program is based on a number of factors. A defender sentenced to community corrections 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;
- The victim or victims input, if any;
- The defendant's compliance with the terms and conditions of the sentence or community corrections program;
- Completion of any treatment required by the court or community corrections program; and
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.12
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 potential impact on the safety of the victims.
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.
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.
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.
Call us for help...
If you have any questions about home detention programs or other sentencing alternatives, contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group.
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(a)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(c)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(d)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(e)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(b)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(b.5)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(f)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(g.5)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(II)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(VI)(i)(I)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(III)
- C.R.S. 18-1.3-301(1)(h)(V)