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Insight Inside: Colorado DOC

Since 1871, the state of Colorado’s Department of Corrections has a proud history of serving the citizens of Colorado by maintaining and enhancing public safety. Currently over 6,300 correctional professionals supervise approximately 20,000 offenders in secure prisons and nearly 9,000 parolees.

The Colorado Department of Corrections provides for the effective management of criminal offenders in controlled environments which are efficient, safe, humane, and appropriately secure, while providing meaningful work and self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders with community re-entry through pro-social stabilization.

There are four internal divisions within the department, led by Executive Director Rick Raemisch, which include; Prison Operations, Finance and Administration, Adult Parole, and Clinical and Correctional Services.

The Department of Corrections is responsible for managing, supervising and controlling twenty (20) state correctional facilities as well as monitoring four (4) privately operated prison facilities for contract compliance.  The Division of Adult Parole manages 18 parole offices throughout the state.  Within the prisons, we deliver educational, vocational and cognitive behavioral programs that provide treatment, services and the necessary tools designed to improve successful reintegration of offenders into society.

The CDOC provides opportunities for offenders to successfully transition from prison into the community through a comprehensive parole re-entry program that provides structured supervision, wrap-around services and community/faith-based resources.  Also assisting offenders is the Colorado Correctional Industries (CCi) programs within the institutions that have a rehabilitative or therapeutic value for offenders.  These programs include everything from a wild horse program to welding and other vocational trades.

In 2013, the Department took on ambitious new reforms that would rewrite Colorado Corrections and increase the national discussion on the use of Administrative Segregation.  The effort and discussion includes a complete ban on the placement of any offender with a serious mental illness into any restrictive housing environment.  We revolutionized our Residential Therapy program and have continued to progress in the treatment of seriously mentally ill in prison.  The CDOC has reduced our Restrictive Housing population to less than 1% and we no longer release offenders directly to communities from segregation, all while decreasing overall incidents of assaults on staff to half of what it was in 2006.

It is the mission of the Colorado Department of Corrections to protect the citizens of Colorado by holding offenders accountable and engaging them in opportunities to make positive behavioral changes and become law-abiding, productive citizens.


Author: Rick Raemisch, Colorado DOC

Author: Rick Raemisch