What is Community Corrections?


Community corrections provides a sentencing or placement alternative, in lieu of prison incarceration, for felony offenders. Participating in a community corrections program requires the offender to change his or her behavior, while allowing some restricted privileges to access the community. Community corrections combines residential supervision and treatment for offenders that are ineligible for probation supervision or for those that have spent time in prison and are awaiting parole placement by the State Parole Board. All providers of community corrections perform similar levels of core supervision and treatment practices according to the state standards. In addition to the core standards, some providers have specific programs targeted toward the supervision and treatment of specialized offenders who have various levels of substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and for sex offenders. These specialty programs are known as Intensive Residential Treatment (IRT) programs, Residential Dual Diagnosis Treatment (RDDT) programs, Therapeutic Community (TC) programs, the EMBARC (Enhancing Motivation by Achieving Reshaped Cognition) pilot program (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - CBT), and Sex Offender Supervision and Treatment Programs (SOSTP). a new question go to app settings and press "Manage Questions" button.




What's the difference between Community Corrections and a halfway house?


There are different kinds of halfway houses but generally, many people use that term to refer to community corrections. Some people like to consider community corrections offenders as halfway in prison or halfway out of prison. Some halfway houses, however, are not considered community corrections programs that are funded by the State of Colorado. Some people use the term halfway house to refer to a facility where citizens can attend residential or daytime treatment for problems with drugs or alcohol.




How does somebody get into a Community Corrections facility?


Cases are referred for community corrections placement either by the State District Courts, or by the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC). Court placements are known as Diversion cases, whereas DOC placements are known as Transition cases. Once a referral is made, the cases are screened by a local community corrections board which consists of several members of the local community. Board members are average citizens with varying professional backgrounds including law enforcement officers, probation officers, parole officers, judges, attorneys, treatment providers, elected officials, or even non-criminal justice professions such as teachers and business owners. If the community corrections board accepts an offender for placement, the case is referred to a specific facility which also then screens the case for acceptance. If both the board and the provider accept the referral, the offender is placed in community corrections as bed-space becomes available.




When will my friend/family be placed into the facility where they have been referred to and/or accepted?


Please contact the community corrections board in the jurisdiction where your friend or family member was referred. They can tell you where you loved one is in the process. A list of community corrections boards is available here: Local Community Corrections Boards.




I am a victim. How do I find out the location of the offender from my case?


As a victim of a crime, you should automatically receive notifications about the status of the offender including his/her location. If this has not happened or if you have questions about your rights please contact the Office for Victims Programs at 303-239-5719 and ask to speak with the Victim Rights Act Specialist.




How do I find out which facility someone went to?


Due to HIPAA and privacy laws, community corrections programs and staff are not allowed to release client information to the public. If you are looking for a friend or loved one who is in a community corrections facility, it is up to him/her to let you know where he or she is living.




What's the difference between being on parole or probation and being in community corrections?


Probationers and parolees live at home rather than in a correctional facility and must check in periodically with their supervising officer. People who are on parole from prison and people who are on probation are both eligible to be in community corrections. Offenders in community corrections reside in the program and are supervised around the clock by teams of security and case management staff in the facility. When signed out to the community for work, treatment, or privilege passes, their whereabouts are randomly verified by staff and they are subject to strict curfews to return to the facility. These facilities are staff secured, but not locked. Community corrections programs can also be used for parolees and probationers who are at risk of failure on probation or parole and who need assistance in the areas of housing, treatment and employment.




Who runs the community corrections facilities?


In Colorado, community corrections programs consist of various types of providers. Community corrections in Colorado is a system of public providers, non-profit providers, and private organizations. The Colorado model was founded on the principle of local control which involves collaboration between the state and local levels of government and community corrections providers.




What do offenders in community corrections do all day?


Community corrections programs require offenders to gain employment as part of the program. This is important so that they can participate in conventional society while also paying taxes, restitution, child support, treatment costs, and other financial responsibilities. Offenders must also attend educational classes and treatment according to their individualized treatment needs. Offenders earn privileges for spending more time in the community, besides time spent at their job, once they have demonstrated that they can follow program rules and have progressed through the various levels of supervision.




What are the benefits of Community Corrections vs. other options?


Offenders benefit from participating in a community corrections program by receiving treatment, education, and assistance with finding employment. Community corrections is a privilege to offenders that could otherwise be in prison. They must maintain that privilege by continuing to demonstrate that they can be safely and effectively managed in a community-based setting. Eventually, they must demonstrate that they can be a productive member of society with even less supervision. The community benefits because offenders are held accountable for their crimes, while receiving treatment and education, which improves the life of the offender and protects public safety. The community participates in the planning and monitoring of the programs in their area. Nationally, and in Colorado, prison populations grew to unprecedented levels in the last decade. This trend has led to substantially increased burdens on taxpayers to support the high costs of prison incarceration. Further, contemporary research has produced information that prison incarceration, in and of itself, has little impact on long-term behavior change for offenders. The benefit to the community is a more economically sustainable strategy to carefully and closely supervise offenders while also facilitating long-term behavior change through community-based treatment and education. Community corrections provides a cost-effective sentencing option for appropriately situated offenders.




How many facilities are there in Colorado and where are they located?


There are 33 residential programs throughout the state of Colorado. 32 of the programs are members of the Colorado Community Corrections Coalition. You can view member information locations in our Member Directory or Member Map.




How long do people typically spend in a community corrections facility?


The time required in a facility varies based on the sentence that the offender receives from the court or their impending date of parole release and, to a degree, their progress in community corrections. The average offender spends between six (6) to seven (7) months living within the facility before progressing to non-residential status or parole. The average length of time that clients are in non-residential community corrections is between ten (10) and eleven (11) months.




What services are provided for people in community corrections?


People in community corrections receive many types of services. They receive treatment services, job services, education, and counseling and are provided meals and housing.




How are community corrections facilities regulated or monitored?


By state law, the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) is required to develop and enforce professional standards for the management and operation of community corrections facilities. Providers are required to comply with the state standards and are subject to periodic audit by DCJ audit staff. Further, community corrections boards are also required to monitor and enforce state and local standards for community corrections facilities. Board staff also perform periodic audits of community corrections programs. Providers of specialized programs are licensed to provide residential treatment to offenders. Their status as licensed treatment programs also requires them to comply with standards of the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health. Programs that accept sex offenders are also required to comply with the Standards and Guidelines for the Supervision, Treatment, and Monitoring of Sex Offenders by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board.




How much does it cost to house an offender?


There are many different types of service levels for community corrections, with varying costs. It is generally significantly less money to house someone in community corrections as compared to prison.




How does the state pay for Community Corrections?


The state funds community corrections programs with money from the state General Fund. Offenders also pay daily toward their own costs of supervision and treatment. Some specialized programs receive federal grant funding to provide more intensive residential treatment and supervision for higher needs offenders.




Does someone in Community Corrections still have to pay their bills?


People in community corrections are required to pay their bills, and are given guidance from their case managers in regards to their finances as part of their case plan.




How many people are in Community Corrections in Colorado?


Approximately 3600 people are in community corrections on a given day.





Frequently Asked Questions

Review frequently asked questions below. Many of these were sourced from our state partner, the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Public Safety. DCJ is a great resource for Community Corrections information in Colorado. We've also included responses for some of the questions Community Corrections programs get frequently. If your questions remain unanswered, please reach out!

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