H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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New Colorado Law Makes It Easier for Early Termination From Colorado Community Corrections Programs

Colorado Community Corrections – 2011 Changes Make It Easier to Get Credit for Time Served for Residential and Non- Residential Time – Early Termination
A New Law in Colorado creates criteria for when a person sentenced to a community corrections sentence may be considered for early termination of his or her sentence.

When the person meets the criteria, his or her probation officer must submit a petition for early termination to the court and notify the district attorney and defendant. The court then decides the petition based on the statutory criteria.

This bill requires that an individual sentenced directly to a community corrections program be eligible for a deduction of up to 10 days per month from his or her sentence. The current law allows such deductions, but does not require eligibility.

Criteria are set for when an individual sentenced to a community corrections program may be considered for early termination of his or her sentence.

The individual must successfully complete the residential phase of community corrections, pay the costs of the residential program in full, and be supervised at a low level.

The probation officer of an individual who meets the eligibility requirement for early sentence termination is required to submit a petition to the court with notice to the district attorney, the defendant, and the victim, where appropriate.

The court may consider a number of factors when deciding whether to grant a petition for early termination of a sentence, including the following:

• risk of recidivism;

• victim input, if any;

• compliance with the terms and conditions of the original sentence;

• completion of any court- or community-corrections-ordered treatment programs; and
• any other relevant factors.

Here are the relevant new Colorado Laws as of 2011 – the NEW LANGUAGE IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS
18-1.3-301. Authority to place offenders in community corrections programs. (1) (i) (I) An offender sentenced directly to a community corrections program by the sentencing court pursuant to this subsection (1) may SHALL be eligible for time credit deductions from the offender’s sentence not to exceed ten days for each month of placement upon a demonstration to the program administrator by the offender that the offender has made consistent progress in the following categories:

(IV) An offender shall not be credited with more than one-half the allowable time credits for any month or portion thereof unless the offender was employed, WAS UNABLE TO BE EMPLOYED DUE TO A DISABILITY WAIVER, or was participating in training, education, or treatment programs which precluded the ability to remain employed. This subparagraph (IV) shall not apply to those offenders excused from such employment or training by the program administrator or for medical reasons.

(VI) Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph (i), time credits shall not reduce the sentence of any offender sentenced directly to a community corrections program by a period of time which is more than twenty-five percent of the sentence or twenty-five percent of the sentence after adjustments are calculated for any credits outlined by the mittimus.

(j) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (k) of this subsection
(1), any offender sentenced to the department of corrections subsequent to placement in a community corrections program is entitled to credit against the term of confinement as described in section 17-27-104 (9), C.R.S. The court shall make a finding of the amount of such time credits and include such finding in the mittimus that orders the offender to be placed in the custody of the department of corrections. The department of corrections shall apply credits for residential placement AND NONRESIDENTIAL TIME COMPLETED in a community corrections program in the same manner as credits for time served in a department of corrections facility.

(k) Any offender who escapes from a residential community corrections program or who absconds from a nonresidential community corrections program shall forfeit any time credit deductions earned pursuant to paragraph (i) of this subsection (1) AND SHALL NOT BE CREDITED WITH ANY TIME ON ESCAPE OR ABSCONDER STATUS. Within thirty days after an offender’s escape or abscondment, the program administrator shall submit to the sentencing court a statement on the form described in subparagraph (III) of paragraph (i) of this subsection (1) of the time credit deductions that would have been earned by the offender.

SECTION 2. 17-27-104 (9), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

17-27-104. Community corrections programs operated by units of local government, state agencies, or nongovernmental agencies. (9) The administrator of any community corrections program shall document the number of days of residential placement AND NONRESIDENTIAL TIME completed by each offender sentenced directly to the community corrections program by the court and the time credits granted to such offender pursuant to section 18-1.3-301 (1) (i), C.R.S. If any such offender is rejected after acceptance by the community corrections board orthe community corrections program, the program administrator shall provide a written summary of the residential days completed by such offender to the referring agency. If the offender is thereafter committed to the department of corrections, such summary shall be reported to the department of corrections to facilitate the calculation of any time credits pursuant to part 3 or part 4 of article 22.5 of this title.

SECTION 3. 18-1.3-301 (1) (h), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

18-1.3-301. Authority to place offenders in community corrections programs. (1) (h) (I) The sentencing court shall have the authority to modify the sentence of an offender who has been directly sentenced to a community corrections program in the same manner as if the offender had been placed on probation.

(II) 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.

(III) WHEN THE DEFENDANT HAS MET THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA ENUMERATED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (h), THE DEFENDANT’S PROBATION OFFICER SHALL SUBMIT A PETITION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF SENTENCE TO THE COURT AND NOTIFY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE DEFENDANT.

(IV) IF VICTIM NOTIFICATION IS REQUIRED, THE PROBATION OFFICER SHALL PROVIDE VICTIM NOTIFICATION PURSUANT TO PART 3 OF ARTICLE 4.1 OF TITLE 24, C.R.S.

(V) IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO GRANT OR DENY THE PETITION, THE COURT MAY CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

(A) THE DEFENDANT’S ASSESSED RISK OF REOFFENSE;

(B) VICTIM INPUT, IF ANY;

(C) THE DEFENDANT’S COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SENTENCE OR COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PROGRAM;

(D) COMPLETION OF ANY TREATMENT REQUIRED BY THE COURT OR COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PROGRAM; AND
(E) OTHER FACTORS DEEMED RELEVANT BY THE COURT.

(VI) THE FACT THAT THE DEFENDANT OWES RESTITUTION, COSTS,
FEES, FINES, OR SURCHARGES SHALL NOT PROHIBIT THE COURT FROM GRANTING THE MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION IF THE COURT FINDS THE MOTION OTHERWISE APPROPRIATE.