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Community Return To Custody Facilities In Colorado: A Program Evaluation

1046 words - 5 pages

Community corrections are an integral part of Colorado’s criminal justice system. Community corrections’ programs not only promote economical practices with state funds but also provide offenders with rehabilitative services in a supervised environment, thus enhancing public safety. Moreover, treatment programs, although effective in penal institutions, are more effective within community settings (Aos, Miller, & Drake, 2006; Lipsey, Chapman, & Landenberger, 2001). Community corrections’ programs generally serve three types of offenders: a) diversion clients, who are under the jurisdiction of the probation department and placed in community corrections’ programs as a diversion from ...view middle of the document...

However, parolees who commit a new crime are sometimes charged with a technical violation due to the difficulty and expense of bringing a criminal offense to trial (Travis & Lawrence, 2002). Although there is no single national standard defining the actions that constitute failure on parole, offenders may receive a technical parole violation for failing to abide by conditions of their parole agreements such as neglecting to attend treatment, having positive urinalyses, and failing to attend meetings with their parole officers (Gray, Fields, & Maxwell, 2001). As the number of offenders committing technical violations grows, the need for CRCFs is becoming greater.
CRCFs were created in response to the growing prison population in Colorado. As with many other states, Colorado has experienced rapid growth in their prison populations. One reason for the burgeoning prison population is the large proportion of offenders who recidivate, especially those who return to prison due to parole violations. In 2007, 40% of admissions to Colorado prisons were for offenders who had violated their parole, and 25% of those offenders returned to prison for a technical parole violation (Listwan, Cullen, & Latessa, 2008). One analysis revealed that nonviolent offenders, whose most serious offense was a Class V or Class VI felony, comprised the majority of Colorado technical parole violators (CDOC, 2007). The Community Return to Custody Facilities offer an alternative to incarceration for many technical parole violators who would otherwise be returned to prison. Therefore, the major difference between established community corrections programs and CRCFs is that CRCF inmates are parolees who had previously been released by the State Board of Parole but then had their parole revoked due to a technical parole violation (CDOC, 2007).
The main purpose of CRCFs is to enhance public safety by managing non-violent parolees who failed to adhere to the technical conditions of their parole (CDOC, 2007). The CRCF objective is accomplished through two phases, during which the offender gradually earns access to the community based on his or her performance in the program. The first phase, referred to as the assessment and planning phase, lasts a minimum of 30 days. During this phase, an intensive assessment of the offender is conducted within a residential setting that the offender...

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