Our Policy Team is second to none, and has been responsible for many victories over the past years, including:

  1. Drug Sentencing Reform – CCDB has been working for the last five years to enact comprehensive drug sentencing reform.  This effort resulted in the most recent bill, SB13 250, which changed most aspects of sentencing for drug offenses with a statutory mandate for courts to treat drug offenders before any prison sentence is imposed. It created new classifications and new sentencing ranges for each crime. The work is not done, however, and the bill’s mandatory data collection will force Colorado to look again at this issue in three years, hopefully resulting in more classification and sentence reductions.
  2. Improved Discovery System - The 2014 State Budget included $5.3 million for improving the discovery process. The bill was based on the report from the Discovery Task Force, which was created to address problems of oppressive costs in the discovery process and recommended a comprehensive E-discovery system.
  3. Reentry Programs for Adult Parolees - This important new policy mandated the Department of Corrections use evidence based recidivism reduction programs in planning for the release of offenders. It created various programs within the department for transition of offenders into the community. Additionally, the bill that passed in 2014 created a grant program for community groups to apply for money to help parolees and other DOC community placed offenders to find jobs and places to live.
  4. Defense Counsel and Social Workers for Juveniles - These two bills passed both houses and were signed by the Governor in 2014. The first gives juveniles the right to counsel and provides that juveniles be represented at detention hearings by an attorney. If the juvenile has not retained private counsel, he or she shall be represented by a State Public Defender or by an ADC attorney. The second bill will permit the State Public Defender to hire social workers to assist in defending juvenile defendants. 
  5. Felony DUI - This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee and was not enacted. Perennially, this bill receives a lot of attention and CCDB works hard to educate lawmakers about its harmful effects. HB14-1036 was overly broad and would have vastly increased the prison population, while doing nothing to deter drunk driving. It would have created a class 4 felony if there were 3 violations within 5 years after the first of 2 prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault. A class 5 felony offense would be created if a person had 4 violations within 15 years.
  6. Bond Reform – CCDB was instrumental in passing a comprehensive Bond reform bill HB 13-1236 that re-organized the bail statutes and made changes in law and practices around the setting of bond.  In the 2014 session, CCDB worked to clean-up to some provisions of the bill that were not clear or were mistakenly left out of the law.
  7. Marijuana DUI – In 2013, CCDB worked with policy makers to ensure that a blood level of 5 nanograms of THC or higher does not constitute “DUI Per Se.”


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