CO Lifetime Sex Offender Terms Called “Disaster,” Keeping Inmates Confined


A 15-year-old Colorado law that created a lifetime-supervision sentence for sex offenders provides insufficient treatment for many of the highest-risk inmates and has left thousands of others waiting for therapy in prison, says an audit reported by the Denver Post. Demand for treatment in the Department of Corrections’ Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program greatly exceeds supply, the audit found. Just one-sixth of inmates eligible to begin treatment are able to start the program each year — effectively keeping many sex offenders in prison indefinitely. More than 1,000 inmates who are ready and waiting for treatment have passed their parole-eligibility dates, the auditors found. Their prolonged incarceration may be costing Colorado taxpayers as much as $30 million a year. In a scathing audit given to corrections officials in February, Central Coast Clinical and Forensic Psychology Services Inc. found the sex-offender program suffers from poorly qualified therapists and inappropriate levels of treatment given offenders. “It’s a disaster,” said Laurie Kepros, who directs sexual-litigation cases for the Colorado public defender’s office.

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