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(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a special needs offender, as defined in section 17-1-102(7.5)(a), may be eligible for parole prior to or after the offender's parole eligibility date pursuant to this section if:
(a) The department determines that the inmate is a special needs offender; and
(b) The state board of parole determines that the special needs offender is not likely to pose a risk to public safety and approves a special needs parole plan that ensures appropriate supervision of and continuity of medical care for the special needs offender.
(2) This section shall apply to any inmate applying for parole on or after July 1, 2001, regardless of when the inmate was sentenced. The provisions of this section shall not affect the length of the parole period to which a special needs offender would otherwise be subject.
(3)(a) The department is responsible for identifying inmates who are special needs offenders and shall submit a referral to the state board of parole for all special needs offenders. If notification to the district attorney is required pursuant to subsection (3)(c)(II) of this section, the inmate shall authorize the department to release the information described in subsections (3)(b)(I) and (3)(b)(I.5) of this section to the district attorney. An inmate or inmate liaison, if the inmate is unable to, may also request that the department make a determination of whether an inmate is eligible for special needs parole and the department shall make a determination within thirty days after receiving the request, unless a competency evaluation has been requested. The department, in consultation with the state board of parole, shall develop any necessary policies and procedures regarding special needs parole to ensure that:
(I) Roles and responsibilities of employees and any contractors involved in special needs parole are clearly defined, employees and any contractors are adequately trained, and performance measures are developed;
(II) Any inmate who is a special needs offender is identified in a timely manner at any point in the inmate's term of incarceration;
(III) Adequate tracking and quality assurance processes are in place so that referrals and any re-referrals, if applicable, are complete and submitted to the parole board in a timely manner;
(IV) Formal mechanisms are in place to facilitate effective communication between the department and the parole board, including but not limited to timely responses from the department to requests from the parole board for additional information or for a revised parole plan prior to the parole board's decision or the conditions under which the parole board would consider a second or subsequent referral for special needs parole, if applicable; and
(V) Data collection and data sharing between the department and the parole board are adequate to actively monitor the status of referrals and parole board decisions on a regular basis.
(b) If an inmate meets the eligibility requirements pursuant to section 17-1-102, the department shall submit a referral to the board that, in addition to the requirements of section 17-22.5-404(4)(a), shall include:
(I) A summary of the inmate's medical, physical, or mental condition, including any diagnosis;
(I.5) Criminal history; risk and needs assessment scores; institutional disciplinary history; work history; an inmate's participation in any programs, treatment, vocational training, or education; and other relevant information regarding risk and risk-reduction factors and any additional relevant information that is requested by the parole board that is in the possession of the department;
(II) The details of a special needs parole plan recommended by the department;
(III) A statement by the inmate or inmate liaison if the inmate is unable to submit a statement; and
(IV) A victim impact statement and response from the district attorney that prosecuted the offender, if received pursuant to subsection (3)(c) of this section.
(b.5) The department shall provide a copy of the referral packet submitted to the parole board to the inmate or inmate liaison, except for the victim impact statement and response from the district attorney. The inmate or inmate liaison has thirty calendar days to submit additional health records or other relevant information not included in the referral packet to the department for submission to the parole board prior to the parole board's decision.
(c)(I) If the department determines the inmate is a special needs offender, the department shall provide notification to any victim, as required pursuant to section 24-4.1-302.5. A victim shall have thirty days after receiving notification to submit a victim impact statement to the department. The department shall include any victim impact statement in the referral to the state board of parole.
(II) At the same time that the department completes the notification required by subsection (3)(c)(I) of this section, the department shall notify and provide information required by subsections (3)(b)(I) and (3)(b)(I.5) of this section to the district attorney that prosecuted the offender if the offender is serving a sentence for a conviction of a crime of violence as described in section 18-1.3-406, or a sex offense as listed in section 16-22-102(9)(j), (9)(k), (9)(l), (9)(n), (9)(o), (9)(p), (9)(q), (9)(r), or (9)(s). A district attorney shall have thirty days after receiving notification to submit a response to the department. The department shall include any district attorney response in the referral to the state board of parole.
(4)(a) The state board of parole shall consider an inmate for special needs parole upon referral by the department.
(b) The state board of parole shall make a determination of the risk of reoffense that the inmate poses after considering the factors in section 17-22.5-404(4)(a), as well as the nature and severity of the inmate's medical or physical condition, the age of the inmate, the ability of the department to adequately provide necessary medical or behavioral health treatment, the inmate's risk and needs assessment scores, the nature and severity of the offense for which the inmate is currently incarcerated, the inmate's criminal history, the inmate's institutional conduct, program and treatment participation, and other relevant risk and risk-reduction factors.
(c) The state board of parole may schedule a hearing on the application for special needs parole with the inmate present, or the board may review the application and issue a decision without a hearing, pursuant to section 17-2-201(4)(f).
(d) The state board of parole shall make a determination of whether to grant special needs parole within thirty calendar days after receiving the referral from the department. The parole board may delay the decision in order to request that the department modify the special needs parole plan. The parole board shall not deny parole based solely on the lack of a recommended parole plan. If the parole board considers an inmate to be an appropriate candidate for release except for the lack of a recommended parole plan, the parole board shall delay the release hearing decision or render a conditional release decision and request that the department submit a revised parole plan within thirty calendar days. If the parole board denies parole, it may inform the department that the inmate should not be referred for a second or subsequent application for special needs parole unless the inmate's medical or mental health status further deteriorates.
(e) The department shall provide a monthly report, by facility, the number of special needs parole applications submitted to the parole board, the decision by the parole board, how many applications are pending, the average length of time the decision has been pending, and the general reason for delaying the decision if that is known to the department. The information must be provided both for the reporting month and year to date.
(f) If, prior to or during any parole hearing, the department or any member of the parole board has a substantial and good-faith reason to believe that the offender is incompetent to proceed, as defined in section 16-8.5-101(12), the parole board shall suspend all proceedings and notify the public defender liaison described in section 21-1-104(6). The office of state public defender shall be appointed by the court to represent the inmate and shall file a written motion with the trial court that imposed the sentence to determine competency. The motion must contain a certificate of counsel stating that the motion is based on a good-faith belief that the inmate is incompetent to proceed. The motion must set forth the specific facts that have formed the basis for the motion. The court shall seal the motion. The court shall follow all the relevant procedures in article 8.5 of title 16 regarding the determination of competency. The presence of the inmate is not required unless there is good cause shown.
(g) A denial of special needs parole by the state board of parole does not affect an inmate's eligibility for any other form of parole or release under applicable law.
(4.5) If an offender is determined to be incompetent to proceed pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, the court may order the department to provide or arrange for the delivery of appropriate restoration services in any setting authorized by law, by an order of the court, or by any other action as provided by law, including civil commitment. Nothing in this section requires the department of human services to take physical custody of an offender for restoration services. The department of human services is not responsible for conducting the competency evaluation. If the court determines that there is not a substantial probability of the offender being restored to competency, the department may refer the inmate for special needs parole with a special needs parole plan pursuant to this section and notify the public defender liaison described in section 21-1-104(6).
(5) The parole board may consider the application for special needs parole pursuant to the proceedings set forth in section 17-2-201(4)(f) or 17-2-201(9)(a). The board may deny parole only by a majority vote if the board finds that granting parole would create a threat to public safety and that the offender is likely to commit an offense.
(6) The department shall not have any responsibility for the payment of medical care for any offender upon the offender's release; except that, prior to or upon release, any inmate who is sixty-five years of age or older and has been approved for special needs parole must be enrolled in the most appropriate medical insurance benefit plan including medicare, medicare savings plan, veteran's benefit, or other safety-net health insurance, or an individual health benefit plan prior to or upon release, whichever will offer the more immediate health-care coverage. The department shall pay any insurance premiums and penalties for up to six months from the start of coverage. The department may provide financial assistance for longer than six months if the person is still under the jurisdiction of the department and would otherwise be uninsured or underinsured without that financial assistance.
(7) For any offender who is granted special needs parole pursuant to this section, the state board of parole shall set the length of the parole for an appropriate time period of at least six months but not exceeding thirty-six months. At any time during the offender's parole, the state board of parole may revise the duration of the parole. However, in no case may such an offender be required to serve a period of parole in excess of the period of parole to which he or she would otherwise be sentenced pursuant to section 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(V)(A), or thirty-six months, whichever is less.
(8)(a) The department shall update the house of representatives judiciary committee and the senate judiciary committee, or their successor committees, as a part of its presentation at a hearing held pursuant to section 2-7-203(2)(a) of the “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act” on the status of the implementation of the changes to this section and the related definitions, section 17-2-201(21), and section17-1-113.5 adopted by Senate Bill 21-146, and on its analysis of the need for and current availability of specialized care placement, including but not limited to skilled nursing, assisted living, or other long-term care services for individuals released from prison with higher care needs who are unable to manage activities of daily living without assistance.
(b) This subsection (8) is repealed, effective July 1, 2022.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 17. Corrections § 17-22.5-403.5. Special needs parole--repeal - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-17-corrections/co-rev-st-sect-17-22-5-403-5.html
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