Colorado Invoice To Remodel Intercourse Offender Administration Pulled After Claims It Would Harm Public Security – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – A bill to revise the treatment of sex offenders in Colorado was withdrawn after prosecutors accused sponsors of the bill of endangering public safety.
The bill covers everything from conditions for release from prison to the sex offender register. The Colorado District Attorneys’ Council says 70% of people convicted of sex offenses in Colorado don’t even go to jail. Those who do so are said to have been convicted of sexually assaulting children by the vast majority.
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Originally, the law would have allowed her release without treatment, but it was changed after prosecutors sounded the alarm.
“Talking fundamentally about how we administer, monitor, evaluate, and treat sex offenders in the community shouldn’t be done without public transparency,” said Amanda Gall, assistant district attorney for Jefferson County, the House of Representatives judiciary committee.
She accused lawmakers of ruthlessly jeopardizing public safety: “The impact on the security of the community is enormous.”
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The 22 elected Gall and Colorado district attorneys oppose the bill that would change the composition of the committee that sets the criteria by which sex offenders are released on parole. The changes come after a scathing review by the Board of Directors, which Legislator Adrienne Benavidez calls: “It really showed some problems in how it works.”
The audit found that the board members personally benefit from political decisions and set standards without any evidence. The new board consists mostly of treatment providers that Gall says have no experience overseeing, managing, and supervising sex offenders. “This is a public safety committee, not a dental committee.”
She is also concerned about a provision in the law that will make it easier for sex offenders to switch providers, saying it will allow those who are not receiving treatment to play the system.
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The board not only determines who will be fired, but who will have to register based on a new risk assessment. Proponents argue that this will help ensure fairness by saying that the current system lumps all sex offenders into one and that individualized treatment works better.