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Lawmakers eye drug sentencing reforms to ease projected prison population growth

"This has some lawmakers wondering if too many people addicted to drugs are ending up behind bars."


“Are they supposed to be there in the first place or are there other options?” said Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat from Denver and advocate for addiction treatment who will serve as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee when the legislature gavels in on Jan. 4."


"A state budget analyst told lawmakers last week that private prisons are about full, prisoners are sleeping in large plastic trays on the floor, and at least four correctional officers have been hospitalized this year after confrontations with inmates. Colorado’s prison population has been declining even as the state’s general population has grown in recent years. But now, state estimates show the prison population could swell from about 20,000 currently to 25,000 by 2022, far exceeding current bed counts."



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