Colorado’s DOC now must tell victims where out-of-state inmates are locked up


The victims of crimes will soon be able to know where the perpetrators are locked up even if that is in a prison out of state, after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Monday that was inspired by victims of the Aurora movie theater attack.

But the fact that Hickenlooper signed the bill in private — despite the request of supporters who wanted a public signing — was a contentious capper to a years-long fight for more transparency in inmate locations.

“It’s hard to unring this bell,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Cole Wist, R-Centennial, who was one of the bill’s sponsors. “I think this is insulting to these victims.”

The Colorado Department of Corrections sometimes moves inmates — typically high-profile ones — to prisons out of state, arguing that moving them to a place where they are less well-known protects both the inmates and corrections officers who may have to jump in to break up any attacks on those inmates. In the past, the DOC has not told the inmates’ victims where the inmates were moved. For inmates held in Colorado, the DOC maintains a searchable website of their locations.

The bill signed Monday, known as SB18-014, requires the DOC to inform victims and prosecutors when inmates are moved out of state and to reveal the names of the prisons where they are held. It contains some notable exceptions, though. Inmates who are witnesses to crimes or who are former corrections or law enforcement officers can still have their locations kept secret.

Source : Denver Post