Colorado Must Release Inmates Even After They Make Threats


A convicted killer told therapists at a prison for Colorado’s most severely mentally ill inmates that he planned to buy a gun, scratch off its serial number and kill as many people as he could. Just before his release on Aug. 28 In Pueblo, the killer told mental health officials that he was planning to attend the Colorado State Fair in the same city, a few hours after his release, the Denver Post reports. No one blocked his release or alerted the public. Instead, prison officials sent a “community safety alert” to law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for parolees deemed a possible threat.

Those alerts also ask law enforcement officials not to alarm the public by discussing the release of inmates such as the killer in Pueblo. “That is one scary individual. I can’t imagine you releasing someone like that,” Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said. “That’s a big red warning note right there.” Very little can be done once a convict finishes his term. Although new cases can be filed when a threat constitutes a new crime, authorities rarely refer such threats for prosecution or prosecutors don’t file them because of staffing limitations. A homicide detective released a few of the community safety alerts to the Post. In addition to the killer in Pueblo, other inmates released in recent months threatened murder the streets and in a high school.

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