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How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109. Takes Effect – As of August 2017, one statute controls the right of a Colorado county court inmate to certain awards for good time. Before this law was enacted Colorado’s county sheriffs were not uniform in how they calculated earned and good time sentence reductions.
This law, which replaces all other laws addressing this issue (good time in Colorado county jails) essentially provides that ALL persons serving jail time as a condition of probation or “straight time” are eligible for good time credit under the provisions of this section.
It is not within the power of a Colorado Judge to impose a sentence which denies to one imprisoned in the county jail the benefits of this section…period.
Here Is A Summary Of The New Legislation – Good Time
First, as noted, the new law consolidates the various statutes governing deductions of time for county jail inmates.
Second, the law clarifies that an inmate may earn a deduction from the time of his or her sentence in the following ways.
The inmate can earn:
• 10 days for each 30 days of the sentence for completing or demonstrating outstanding progress in a designated program or educational activity within the jail; plus
• 13 days for each 30 days of the sentence on his or her sentence for being designated by the county sheriff as a trusty prisoner, performing work within or outside the jail in a creditable manner, and conducting him- or herself by the rules; and
• 13 days for each 30 days of the sentence if the inmate is sentenced to jail as a direct sentence or as a condition of probation and is permitted to participate in work, educational programming outside the jail, medical release, home detention, or day reporting programs.
CAVEAT – It must be clear to the reader – regardless of how many programs an inmate participates in, he or she may not receive a deduction of more than 15 days in any 30-day period.
Three Day Additional Deduction May Be Permitted In Extraordinary Cases
In addition to the deductions described above, an inmate may also receive a three-day maximum deduction when the inmate takes an unusual or extraordinary action, as determined by the county sheriff.
The effective date of this new law was August 9, 2017.
§ 17-26-109. Deductions of Time
(1) Every person who is sentenced to and imprisoned in any county jail of this state or sentenced to pay a fine and costs or either or all thereof and who performs faithfully the duties assigned to him or her during his or her imprisonment therein earns deductions from the time of his or her sentence as follows:
(a) An inmate receives a one-day deduction for each fifteen days on his or her sentence;
(b) In addition to the deduction described in subsection (1)(a) of this section, an inmate may receive a ten-day deduction for each thirty days on his or her sentence if he or she:
(I) Successfully completes a designated program or educational activity within the jail; or
(II) Demonstrates outstanding progress in any designated program or educational activity within the jail;
(c) In addition to the deduction described in subsection (1)(a) of this section, an inmate may receive a thirteen-day deduction for each thirty days on his or her sentence if the inmate:
(I) Is designated by the county sheriff as a trusty prisoner;
(II) Is engaged in work within or outside the walls of the jail;
(III) Performs his or her work in a creditable manner;
(IV) Conducts himself or herself in accordance with the rules of the jail; and
(V) Is approved by the sheriff to receive a deduction pursuant to this subsection (1)(c);
(d) An inmate may receive a deduction of up to thirteen days for each thirty days on his or her sentence if the inmate:
(I) Is sentenced to the county jail as a direct sentence or as a condition of probation; and
(II) Is permitted to participate in work, educational programming outside the jail, medical release, home detention, or day reporting programs pursuant to section 18-1.3-106(1) ;
[HMS – Section(e) Places a CAP on the number of days – TOTAL – that can be awarded in this law.]
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an inmate may not receive a deduction of more than fifteen days in any thirty-day period, regardless of how many programs the inmate participates in, whether the inmate is designated a trusty prisoner or is sentenced as described in subsection (1)(d) of this section;
(f) (I) In addition to the deductions described in subsections (1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(c), and (1)(d) of this section, an inmate may receive a three-day maximum deduction when the inmate takes an unusual or extraordinary action, as determined by the county sheriff. This deduction may be granted on an incident-by-incident basis and is not subject to the deduction cap described in subsection (1)(e) of this section.
(II) If a county sheriff awards a deduction pursuant to this subsection (1)(f), he or she shall notify the chief judge of the judicial district of such fact not later than three business days after the deduction is awarded. In providing such notice, the sheriff shall indicate how many days were deducted and the nature of the unusual or extraordinary action taken by the inmate.
(2) Each county sheriff shall develop and implement a program and schedule for administering reductions of inmates’ sentences in his or her county jail, as described in this section and in accordance with the expectations and standards of the community in which he or she serves. Each county jail shall keep a record of each inmate’s deductions of time and changes in deductions of time as a result of policy violations by the inmate.
[HMS – Section (3)(1) Takes away deductions for willful violations of the rules and regulations of the jail.]
(3) (a) If an inmate is found to have committed a willful violation of any of the rules or regulations of the jail, he or she may forfeit some or all of the deductions from his or her sentence that he or she received up to the time of the violation, as determined by the sheriff of the county in which the jail is situated.
(b) If an inmate escapes or attempts to escape from a jail or an alternative sentence program, he or she forfeits all deductions from his or her sentence that he or she received up to the time of the escape or attempted escape.
(4) An inmate who is sentenced to any alternative sentence pursuant to section 18-1.3-106 arising out of a sentence pursuant to section 42-4-1307(5)(a)(I), (5)(b), or (6)(a)(I) may receive a sentence deduction pursuant to this section only after serving any mandatory period of time pursuant to those sections.
(5) As used in this section, “day” means a twenty-four-hour calendar day.
How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109
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The contents of this article are based upon my research, my personal experience and my personal analysis and opinions developed from my thirty six years (as of 2017) of criminal trial experience from both sides of the courtroom – as a former career prosecutor for Arapahoe and Douglas Counties (13 years) and as the owner of my own Criminal Defense Law Firm since 1999 (18 years).
The reader is also admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.
If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.
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H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109.