SERIES: CRIMINAL INJUSTICE
The Gazette's Colorado Watch team explores topics like recent reforms to the juvenile justice system, Colorado's high-recidivism parole program, culture changes at the state's prisons and the state's handling of female convicts.
Colorado's criminal justice reforms are delivering a more violent mix of offenders to the state's troubled community corrections system, filling up local halfway houses already struggling with violence, staff sexual misconduct, rampant drug use and health and safety concerns, a new Gazette investigation shows.
J.H. (not his real name) was sexually abused by a counselor in 2018 while serving time for his third DUI at the Tooley Hall halfway house in Denver.
The FBI is investigating whether the former CEO of a Colorado Springs halfway house program, ComCor, stole more than $1 million from the nonprofit.
At one Colorado halfway house delivering better outcomes than other programs in the state, residents are eager to share their stories of success and give praise to the staff for helping them become productive members of society.
COVID-19 has slammed into Colorado's prison system, which already was struggling to keep corrections officers from quitting amid rising chaos according to state data, interviews and legislative reports.
COVID-19 cases in Colorado’s corrections system have shot up in recent weeks, putting the rate of infections inside prisons, jails and halfway houses far above the rate for all other Coloradans while a previously unreleased state report predicts the virus will cause hundreds of deaths in Colorado prisons.
More than 500 inmates have contracted COVID-19, including three who died, at the Sterling Correctional Facility in Sterling.
The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered the latest blow to Colorado’s troubled care system for mentally ill people accused of crimes, putting the state on course for millions in new fines while a growing number of defendants languish in jails awaiting services.
Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado's executive director of corrections have inflicted “cruel and unusual punishment” on prisoners by failing to put in place policies to protect those who are medically vulnerable from dying of COVID-19, according to a class-action lawsuit.