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DOC parole audit shows huge errors

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Nov 18 2013 06:43:31 PM CST

Colorado parole officers committed fundamental supervision errors in more than 60 percent of the cases they handled, a review of more than 2,000 audits shows.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The Department of Corrections parole division in the spotlight for thousands of mistakes and mishandlings.

The Denver Post examined 2,000 parole supervision audits spanning three years.  It found fundamental errors in more than 60 percent of the cases.

According to the Denver Post's investigative report, parole officers failed to:

• Respond appropriately to parole violations about 30 percent of the time.

• Complete a behavioral and supervision plan in nearly 22 percent of cases.

• Adhere to contact standards, including required visits to parolees' homes, nearly 32 percent of the time.

• Conduct risk assessments to identify parolee weaknesses or hold initial office visits with parolees nearly 20 percent of the time.

• Respond to all telephone calls from or about parolees in 6 percent of cases.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked the Department of Corrections how it plans to remedy the problems. In a statement, a spokesperson wrote:

"The Colorado Department of Corrections has no additional comment concerning the investigative parole audit story published by The Denver Post this weekend."

Colorado Springs residents KRDO spoke to were shocked to learn of the egregious errors made by the DOC parole board.

"There has to be something in the system to correct it right away because that's very bad," said Charles Guy. "It makes me feel disappointed about our system."

"If parole officers don't check, (offenders) are going to keep repeating it over and over," said Jason Burtis.  "Free people are going to suffer. It's not fair at all."

The most notorious parole mistake led to the death of former DOC prisons chief Tom Clements. He was shot and killed by Evan Ebel -- a parolee who cut off his ankle monitor five days before the murder.

Since then, the DOC's parole board has been under fire for parolee violations. 

To read the Denver Post's full report, click here.

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