In the 2019 legislative session we worked on creating a more fair and equitable criminal justice system.

Major Bills

  • Limit on Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries: HB19-1025
    • This bill prevents employers from asking about criminal history on an initial job application, but allows them to inquire at any other stage of the hiring process. This gives applicants a chance to demonstrate their qualifications for a position based on their merit and skill and to tell their own story during an interview, rather than being immediately passed over.
  • Free Menstrual Hygiene Products In Custody: HB19-1224
    • Requires correctional facilities and jails to provide free menstrual hygiene products at no cost to the person in custody. Each woman’s body is different and we must ensure the state is treating all women, including those that are in custody, with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
  • No Monetary Bail For Low-Level Offenses: HB19-1225
    • Prior to this new law, people who committed minor offenses were often kept in jail simply because they couldn’t afford to pay bail. This law helps avoid unnecessary pretrial detention by eliminating cash bail for petty & traffic offenses such as having an open container or shoplifting less than $50 worth of goods.
  • Bond Reform: HB19-1226
    • This bill moves Colorado towards a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system by making changes to our bail, bond, and pretrial services systems to better serve the community and the rights of defendants.
  • Increased Eligibility For Record Sealing: HB19-1275
    • This bill will help broaden access to record sealing for lower level offenses, allowing more people to successfully maintain housing and employment and help them move on from their past mistakes after they have served their sentences. The bill streamlines record sealing processes, expands eligibility, and gives victims and prosecutors the opportunity to give input to the judge when deciding on sealings.
  • Juvenile Justice Reform: SB19-108
    • Research shows diverting low-risk youth into community options like restorative justice rather than incarceration is more effective for rehabilitation and overall public safety. This bill expands opportunities for diversion by using validated risk and needs assessments in diversion decisions for juvenile offenders.
  • Parole Changes: SB19-143
    • This bill will allow the Department of Corrections to better manage their population when the vacancy rate falls below 3%. It will better align parole board decision making with the parole release guidelines for people who have been assessed to be less than high risk, reduce parole revocations for technical violations, and make it easier for individuals to access reentry services after release.
  • Prompt Pretrial Liberty And Fairness: SB19-191
    • Creates additional rights for defendants related to their ability to release from jail on bond. Previously, defendants sometimes sat multiple days in jail before a judge set their bond or before they could be released once bond was set. This bill tasks the judicial districts to set tighter timelines for these hearings, sets firm deadlines for a defendant to be able to post bond and be released, and limits bond-related fees.