Corrections Budget Introduced

Lawmakers introduced the annual budget today, detailing priorities for corrections and rehabilitation.

Proposed appropriations for Department of Corrections (DOC) total over 700 million, with an additional 51.7 million coming from the state’s general fund this year. Here is a list of some of the Joint Budget Committee’s proposals for the DOC:

$21.6 million for increases associated with salary survey, insurance…etc.

$8.4 million for private prisons and local jails based on a projected increase in the inmate population

$7.6 million to annualize the cost of double bunking male inmates at four state-operated correctional facilities

$3.4 million for medical expenses and food inflation

$3.2 million for additional parole and community corrections officers

$1.7 million to double bunk female inmates at Denver Women’s Correctional Facility

$1.6 million for provider rate increases for local jails and in-state private prisons

$1.5 million for additional housing and security staff and prison maintenance expenses

Department of Public Safety (DPS) funding for mental health and rehabilitation treatment was also detailed, along with analysis:

$2.3 million for additional residential community corrections beds

$700,000 for community provider rate increases

$670,000 for specialty community corrections beds for enhanced mental health and drug and alcohol treatment

$420,000 for the Office of Research Statistics to backfill reductions in federal
funds for this purpose and to provide funds for a contract analysis of the Governor’s recidivism reduction and offender diversion package.

The Division of Criminal Justice, a body of the DPS, collects crime data and administers corrections contracts for diversion and transition programs.

According to the budget proposal, the division’s funding would be reduced 11.2% from the last fiscal year.

The Senate is expected to tackle the budget on Wednesday, after discussing the specifics in caucuses.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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