State of Colorado Archives: on Crime

Mike Johnston: Reduce sentencing disparities; ban police chokeholds

If you talk to criminal-justice reform advocates in our neighborhood--I've actually carried more legislation on criminal-justice reform over the last five years than on education: from a ban on the use of the chokehold by law enforcement; to the CLEAR Act, about reducing disparities in the criminal-justice pipeline; to lots of work on protection of kids from child molesters and felony-DUI legislation.

The more people dig, the more they'll find I have a consistent record of these kinds of big ideas with unusual coalitions in all parts of legislation. Even here in the daily activity of our community office--it's not a bill that you have to pass, but we've brought together folks for real transformation, to help work toward a solution that works for this neighborhood. Most people don't build coalitions like this or, I think, get results like this.

Source: Westword interview on 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial race Jan 25, 2017

Ryan Frazier: Criminal justice reform needed against $30,000 per inmate

In Colorado, it costs upwards of $30,000 a year to house and feed an inmate and yet we only invest $6,800 a year per student. Criminal justice reform is needed for our community.
Source: 2016 Colorado Senate campaign website Feb 3, 2016

Bob Beauprez: Require public notice when releasing violent prison inmates

Though public safety was not originally part of the business-focused debate, Beauprez raised the issue in reply to a question about regulating marijuana. He cited a Denver Post story about violent prison inmates being released without notice to the public, even though those released have vowed to murder others. "It's happened on his watch," Beauprez said.

Hickenlooper responded, "This has been a problem in every state and all over the country: When someone serves their time, you can't keep them, but we tried to pass a law last year where you could have civil commitment of people who have mental illness and those deemed a real threat to others, and we couldn't get it through."

Beauprez's campaign accused the governor of "passing the buck" on public safety

Source: Denver Post on 2014 Colorado Gubernatorial debate Oct 6, 2014

John Hickenlooper: Longer minimum prison sentences do not reduce crime

Public safety is a priority for every Coloradan. We can be tough on crime while also smart about spending taxpayer money. Key Priorities: Over 25 years ago, we passed a law in Colorado doubling sentences for all crimes, leading to predictable increases in our prison populations. The hope was that longer sentences would keep the public safe, but longer minimum prison sentences do not reduce crime. If many people return to prison within 3 years of their release, we must examine our flawed, one-size-fits-all approach. We need to evaluate what services and supports can lead to better outcomes and reduce recidivism and excess costs to taxpayers
Source: 2014 Governor campaign website, Sep 1, 2014

Ken Buck: Closed loophole that had let abusive fathers contact kids

Ken Buck is fighting back against the "war on women" narrative that helped doom his Senate campaign in 2010. And the opening salvo in the battle to reclaim his name is coming in the form of a 2-minute video entitled "Stephanie's Story."

The story goes like this: In 2008, Stephanie Drobny and her two young children fled their home in Montana after her abusive husband threatened to murder her and put her in the forest "where the bears would eat" her. But Ken Buck, in his capacity as District Attorney, helped her "get through a rough time in my life," Drobny says during the video.

In the process of helping Drobny, Buck discovered a major loophole in the law that allowed perpetrators like her husband to continue contacting the children. Buck, Drobny, and even her daughter went to the state legislature so that they could help close the loophole. The bill was signed into law in 2011.

Buck says he is taking proactive measures to undermine the "war on women" meme that hurt him last time.

Source: The Daily Caller AdWatch on 2014 Colorado Senate race Feb 17, 2014

John Hickenlooper: $34 million for violence-preventing mental health services

Part of what has gotten overlooked in the debate about guns is our work on mental health. When you look at the massacres at Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater; and the tragedies of Platte Canyon High School, and most recently at Arapahoe High School, guns are only a piece of the puzzle. Another clear piece is mental health: Trying to identify and assist those who are feeling isolated, bullied, the mentally ill; and trite as this may sound, those who are feeling abandoned and unloved.

We allocated more than $34 million to create and bolster programs such as school-based mental health services, behavioral health community centers, and to train and staff round-the-clock mental health crisis centers.

Source: 2014 State of the State address to Colorado Legislature Jan 9, 2014

John Hickenlooper: $20M for mental health 24/7 call-in centers

Q: At Arapahoe H.S., a young man walked in with a pump shotgun. Someone that is visibly armed should not be able to get in.

HICKENLOOPER: They did have a deputy sheriff on the premise. The moment there was trouble, he was running to the scene. But there's a balance. And school administrators are trying to make a school not be a fortress. They want to be a place for education.

Q: What about the motivation of this young man?

HICKENLOOPER: There have been reports that maybe he was bullied. Last year, we put in place over $20 million for mental health 24/7 call-in centers & mobile crisis centers, and to train people how to recognize mental illness when you see it. But this kid, by all accounts, didn't exhibit the warning signs of mental illness. Obviously, it's hard to fathom why he would have done this without being somewhat crazy. But bullying does seem to be involved. We have programs now throughout the state, anti-bullying, trying to get kids to deal with that in a more constructive way.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Colorado gubernatorial race Dec 15, 2013

Amy Stephens: Voted NO on parole violation punishment reduction

HB 1360: Parole Violation Punishment Reduction: