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From bail reform to restoring voting rights and sealing records, Colorado’s criminal justice system is getting a makeover

“We’re not rehabilitating people. We’re just cycling in and out through different systems and then back in,” said state Rep. Leslie Herod, a Denver Democrat who is pushing many of the criminal justice measures. “And we have to change that.”


"Many of the criminal justice bills sailing through the General Assembly this year aren’t necessarily new concepts, but Democrats are taking advantage of their new majority, flexing political muscle to make strides on other long-debated issues, including renters’ rights and oil and gas regulation."


"If all the criminal justice measures are signed into law, the slate of bills would represent a significant and fast-moving overhaul of Colorado’s justice system."


"While most of the bills making their way through the legislature have bipartisan support, law enforcement and some GOP lawmakers have tried to pump the brakes on a number of the measures, warning that there could be unintended consequences. 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, a Republican, said the bills seem “to absolve and protect the convicted criminals who harm our neighbors and loved ones.”


“I think it’s been a pretty aggressive year under the auspices of criminal justice reform,” said Tom Raynes, who leads the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council, representing the state’s prosecutors, which is neutral or supportive of most of the legislation. “They’ll be significant changes in many ways to how we do business. Bond reform, depending on how many of those bills pass, will have major impacts on how we do things on a daily basis. Some of it good, some it kind of unrealistic.”



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