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Comprehensive Drug Sentencing Scheme Proposal: Report to the Colorado Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate

NCJ Number
Kim English
Date Published
December 2012
47 pages
This report details Colorado's proposal for a Comprehensive Drug Sentencing Scheme.
This report, prepared by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, details the work of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to develop a comprehensive drug sentencing scheme for all drug crimes. In developing this scheme, the Commission is required to consider the following: development of a sentencing structure that differentiates drug offenders who are primarily users and addicts from more serious offenders who are involved in drug distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking; development of resources through changes in the criminal code to enhance intervention, supervision and treatment in the community, and enhance public safety; methods by which offenders can gain access to assessment-based treatment services that are based on treatment need regardless of the level or classification of the crime; creation of equivalent penalties for crimes that pose similar risks to public safety; enhancement of penalties when behaviors clearly present a public safety risk; development of resources for additional, pre-filing diversion programs around the State for drug offenders; use of drug courts and how legislative changes could support more effective use of those resources; relevant negative impacts related to criminal convictions; and any other issues that the Commission determines to be important and relevant to the goals of the Commission. This report details the work to date of the Commission in developing the sentencing scheme and provides a set of recommendations for reforming the current drug sentencing structure. Tables, figures, appendixes, and references