DENVER - Attorney General John Suthers, chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Sexually Violent Predators, commended the progress made by the Task Force following a meeting convened to identify and address deficiencies in the identification and notification of sexually violent predators.
During the meeting, the Colorado Department of Corrections reported that the Department’s Community Parole Officers have intensified their supervision to ensure public safety and verified that all offenders under parole supervision have been appropriately evaluated. The Department also confirmed that none of the offenders, currently under parole supervision, met the criteria required to be identified as a sexually violent predator.
The Colorado Department of Corrections also outlined the comprehensive processes and procedures established to identify and evaluate offenders prior to release from prison. The Department has prioritized the evaluation process based upon the date of release from prison. Prisoners will not be released without being analyzed under this new system. The Department has identified 85 offenders who will be evaluated prior to their release within the next six months.
"In just a short period of time, this Task Force has made tremendous strides to ensure that Colorado’s system for evaluating sexually violent predators is functioning properly," said Attorney General Suthers. "Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Owens and the members of the Task Force, the public can rest assured offenders will not be released into the community without appropriate measures in place."
The Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Task Force on Sexually Violent Predators confirmed that the Colorado Department of Corrections and Judiciary’s Office of Probation Service are working closely together to streamline the state’s process for evaluating and identifying sexually violent predators.
"The Department of Corrections and Judicial Branch have devoted their full attention to identifying and addressing problems within the system," said Attorney General Suthers.
State judicial officials notified the Chief Probation Officers in each judicial district alerting them that they will be asked to review their files of potential sexually violent predators to verify that appropriate testing has occurred. Since 1999, approximately 1,300 offenders have been sentenced who potentially qualify for review. The list will be examined and as necessary sent to the appropriate district for a more detailed review.