A New Wave Of Crime Bills

The 66th General Assembly is now in session, and a new wave of bills seeking to regulate the criminal justice system have gone public.

Proposals in the House include repealing the death penalty, fighting sexual assault in prisons, and requiring parolees to sign a search and seizure agreement.

The most dramatic bills come from the tongue-tying Legislative Oversight Committee for the Continuing Examination of the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness who are Involved in the Justice System. 

The committee could oversee trial mental health programs for juveniles in the corrections system, and another bill seeks to persuade courts to prescribe treatment for juveniles with emotional problems.Here follows a listing of the bills:

H.B. 1002 (PDF)


Consent To Search An Inmate On Parole


Rep. Steve King (R-Grand Junction)


Requires an inmate to sign an agreement subjecting him to search and seizure by law enforcement, before applying for parole.

H.B. 1057 (PDF)


Demonstration Programs For Integrated Systems Of Care Family Advocacy Programs For Mental Health Juvenile Justice Populations


Rep. Debbie Stafford (R-Aurora), Rep. Cheri Jahn (D- Wheat Ridge), Judy Solano (D-Brighton)

Sen. Sue Windels (D-Arvada), Sen. Ken Kester (R- Las Animas), Sen. Stephanie Takis (D-Aurora)


Creates trial programs for juvenile justice populations concerning mental health and care.

Programs will be monitored by the Department of Human Services (DHS), with support from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), family advocacy groups, and other taskforces. The DHS will be required to request and select different programs for rural and urban areas, with the help of advocacy groups and the DPS.

Requires the DHS to draft reports on the success of such programs and submit findings to a legislative oversight committee by January of 2008.

Requires the oversight committee to make recommendations regarding programs by July, 2010.

H.B. 1058 (PDF)


Juvenile Justice Procedures For Juveniles Who May Suffer From Mental Health Problems


Judy Solano (D-Brighton), Rep. Cheri Jahn (D- Wheat Ridge), Rep. Debbie Stafford (R-Aurora)

Sen. Sue Windels (D-Arvada), Sen. Ken Kester (R- Las Animas), Sen. Stephanie Takis (D-Aurora)


Requires court officials and guardians to raise an issue of emotional disturbance during a legal proceeding, if there is a reason to believe that a juvenile is suffering from emotional disturbance. Requires the court to review the emotional problem if needed, and order mental health treatment if needed.

H.B. 1093 (PDF)


Sexual Conduct Occurring In Penal Institutions


Rep. Terrance Carroll (D-Denver), Sen. Robert Bacon (D-Fort Collins)


Requires disciplinary action against state employees who fail to report sexual assault in penal institutions and mandates that investigative findings are sent to applicable district attorneys. Provides treatment and therapy to victims of sexual assault and requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to submit annual reports with sexual assault data to legislative judiciary committees.

H.B. 1094 (PDF)


Capital Crimes, And Making An Appropriation In Connection Therewith


Paul Weissmann (D-Louisville)


Repeals the death penalty and declares the intent of the legislature to use money that would go into capital punishment towards a cold case unit in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

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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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