*What is the mission of the Colorado Board of Parole?
Answer: The mission of the Colorado Board of Parole is to increase public safety by critical evaluation, through the utilization of evidence based practices, of inmate potential for successful reintegration to society. The Board determines parole suitability through the process of setting conditions of parole and assists the parolee by helping to create an atmosphere for a successful reintegration and return to the community. (Colorado Board of Parole Strategic Plan, 2012-2015; created in accordance with the SMART Government Act, 2-7-201, C.R.S. (2013))
* What types of hearings are conducted by the Parole Board?
Answer: There are primarily three types of hearings:
(1) application interviews, (2) rescission hearings, and (3) revocation hearings. The Parole Board also conducts probable cause hearings for interstate parolees, and sexually violent predator designation hearings for offenders not designated by the judicial system.
- Application Interivew:
- In this type of hearing, the inmate is applying to receive discretionary parole. In most cases, after the application interview concludes, the initiating Board Member will make a recommendation to either defer the inmate's application for parole for a specified time, or to release the inmate to discretionary parole. It takes a second Board member to review the recommendation and approve the recommendation, by affixing his/her electronic signature on the action. It is only then, once the application action notice has two signatures, is the decision final.
- If an inmate meets either the statutorily defined full board criteria or the Colorado Parole Board's full board criteria, the initiating Board Member must refer the inmate's file to be reviewed by the full board, for release considerations. Conversely, if the initiating hearing officer elects to make the recommendation of deferral, he/she may do so, without referring the inmate before the full board.
- Rescission Hearing:
- If an inmate has gone before the Colorado Parole Board and has received discretionary parole, this parole date may be suspended, and then rescinded for a variety of reasons. Once a discretionary release date has been suspended, a rescission hearing will then be scheduled to allow the Board the ability to re-evaluate the release decision, taking into consideration the information which prompted the suspension of the release date. Please refer to the Colorado Department of Corrections' Administrative Regulation, AR 550-08 for a comprehensive list of events/items that could suspend a discretionary parole date.
- If a parolee has been revoked for a period of time that is less than remainder, the parolee will have a mandatory re-parole date. The mandatory re-parole date can also be suspended, and then rescinded for a variety of reasons. Please refer to the Colorado Department of Corrections' Administrative Regulation, AR 550-08 for a comprehensive list of events/items that could suspend a mandatory re-parole date.
- Revocation Hearing:
- Once an inmate has been released to parole, he/she must abide by the conditions of parole, as designated by the Board. If the parolee violates his/her conditions of discretionary parole, he/she may be brought before the Board by the Colorado Department of Corrections' Parole Division for possible revocation of parole.
* May I attend a Parole Board Hearing, if so how do I arrange it?
Answer: Yes, Parole Board Hearings are open to the public; however, depending on the type of hearing you wish to attend, will dictate the procedure you must follow.
*If you wish to attend an application hearing: You must attend at the facility where the offender is located. Since each private facility and state facility have specific security requirements, it is imperative you contact the offender’s case manager for information on how to apply for a security clearance prior to arriving at the facility.
*If you wish to attend a revocation hearing: You must attend at the jail where the parolee is located. Please contact the supervising parole officer for instruction on the clearance process.
* I cannot attend the Parole Board Hearing at the facility. Can I write a letter of support for the offender instead?
Answer: Yes, you may write a letter of support for the offender. However, please ensure the letter is sent to the offender’s case manager for upload into the “Offender Portal.” Case managers are the only ones with access to the Offender Portal, so please do not send letters of support directly to the Parole Board. Letters sent directly to the Parole Board will be immediately sent to the offender’s case manager for processing. This delay may result in your letter not being uploaded in time for review by the Board.
* I am the victim of a crime; how do I receive notification of upcoming Parole Board Hearings?
Answer: If you are a victim of a crime and wish to be notified of upcoming hearings, it is imperative that you actively enroll with the Colorado Department of Corrections’ Victim Service Unit (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdoc/victim-services, (800) 886-7688). Once enrolled, you will receive timely notifications of upcoming hearings.
* I am the victim of a crime and I wish to attend a parole hearing, what do I need to do?
Answer: Please contact the Colorado Department of Corrections’ Victim Service Unit for arrangements to attend a parole hearings (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdoc/victim-services (800) 886-7688).
* How are hearings conducted?
Answer: The Parole Board conducts the majority of its hearings by video conferencing. It also conducts hearings by telephone and face-to-face.
* What factors do you consider in making parole decisions?
Answer: The factors we consider are set forth in 17-22.5-404, C.R.S. (2013):
In considering offenders for parole, the state board of parole shall consider the totality of the circumstances, which include, but need not be limited to, the following factors:
(I) The testimony or written statement from the victim of the crime, or a relative of the victim, or a designee, pursuant to section 17-2-214;
(II) The actuarial risk of reoffense;
(III) The offender's assessed criminogenic need level;
(IV) The offender's program or treatment participation and progress;
(V) The offender's institutional conduct;
(VI) The adequacy of the offender's parole plan;
(VII) Whether the offender while under sentence has threatened or harassed the victim or the victim's family or has caused the victim or the victim's family to be threatened or harassed, either verbally or in writing;
(VIII) Aggravating or mitigating factors from the criminal case;
(IX) The testimony or written statement from a prospective parole sponsor, employer, or other person who would be available to assist the offender if released on parole;
(X) Whether the offender had previously absconded or escaped or attempted to abscond or escape while on community supervision; and
(XI) Whether the offender completed or worked toward completing a high school diploma, a general equivalency degree, or a college degree during his or her period of incarceration.
In addition, we pay particular attention to the Colorado Risk Assessment Scale (CARAS) and Administrative Release Guideline Instrument in making decisions. (17-22.5-404, C.R.S. (2013))
* Is there a different procedure for violent offenders versus nonviolent offenders?
Answer: Yes. Individual Board members do not have the authority to parole offenders convicted of a violent crime. Instead, if a Board member believes he or she is a good candidate for parole, or would like the input of the other Board members, the member refers the offender to the entire Parole Board for consideration. The Board sits as a “Full Board” at least once a week and votes on parole applications for violent offenders. An offender needs at least 4 affirmative votes to be released on parole. In contrast, individual members retain the authority to make final release decisions for non-violent offenders.
*I have been notified of the application interview results and wish to appeal the decision. How can this be accomplished?
Answer: In accordance with the Rules Governing the State Board of Parole and Parole Proceedings, 8 CCR 1511-1 (9.03): Decisions resulting from Parole Applications are not subject to appeal.
* How do you decide to revoke an offender’s parole?
Answer: The Parole Revocation process is governed by 17-2-103, C.R.S. (2013). Each hearing is an independent event. The Parole Board member conducting the hearing is an objective hearing officer and accepts testimony and evidence from the Division of Adult Parole and the parolee. After the reviewing all pertinent information, the Board member uses his or her best judgment to render a decision.
* I have been notified by the offender of the revocation hearing results and wish to appeal the decision. How can this be accomplished?
Answer: Only the parolee or the parolee’s attorney may appeal the parole revocation and the appeal must be received by the Colorado State Board of Parole within 30 day of the revocation hearing for consideration.
* I wish to file a complaint against a parole officer. How can I accomplish this?
Answer: The Board of Parole is a separate entity from the Colorado Department of Corrections; additionally, the Board of Parole has no jurisdiction over the Colorado Division of Adult Parole. Please contact the Colorado Department of Corrections' Parole Division with your concerns.