Hard Times

Tracking corrections funding in our state.

October 2009

As Colorado's budget crisis became more dire this past summer, Governor Bill Ritter's staff started to hack at any low-hanging fruit that had survived earlier cuts. Although both higher education and Medicaid saw reductions, the biggest news was the $45 million slashed from the Department of Corrections over the next two years, which will reduce supervision for some current parolees and let some non-sex offender prisoners out of the clink six months early. Howls of protest emerged from private prisons fearing they'd lost their lifeblood. Still, only 6,100 parolees or inmates will be impacted, and even after the cuts we will still spend $678 million a year to keep approximately one out of 30 adults under correctional eye. Here, we break down the numbers.