Colo. lawmakers: Shorter prison terms, save money
April 15, 2009
DENVER ” Democratic lawmakers are proposing that Colorado reduce prison sentences for nonviolent offenders to save money.
The bill is set to be introduced Wednesday afternoon in the Senate.
Its sponsors say the bill would lower sentence ranges for low level property crimes and give judges more discretion in punishing nonviolent offenders. It would also make drug possession a separate crime from drug dealing. That would allow drug addicts to be treated under supervision rather than locked up.
The bill is backed by public defenders and mental health advocates. The Independence Institute, a free-market think tank, also says it supports sentencing reform but isn’t taking a position on the bill.