Office of Community Corrections Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of 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.
                                                                                            Back to Top

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. 
                                                                                            Back to Top

What are the benefits to the offender?

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.

                                                                                           Back to Top

What are the benefits to the community?
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.
                                                                                            Back to Top

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

There are 33 residential programs throughout the state of Colorado. For a map showing the location of the various facilities, please use this link:  Community Corrections Facilites-Location Map .  
                                                                                             Back to Top

How does one 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 eventually placed in community corrections.
                                                                                             Back to Top

Does the term community corrections mean the same thing as 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.
                                                                                             Back to Top

What types of people are eligible to go to Community Corrections?

Most community corrections offenders in the last several years were serving sentences for non-violent, mid-level 
felony offenses. The most common type of offenses committed by both Diversion and Transition offenders are 
related to controlled substances, burglary, and theft. Offenders convicted of violent crimes, or those with violent 
criminal histories are also carefully screened for placement by boards and programs.
                                                                                             Back to Top

How long are people 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. The average offender spends between six (6) to seven (7) months living within 
the facility before progressing to non-residential status or parole.
                                                                                             Back to Top

What is 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 and not locked down. 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. 
                                                                                             Back to Top

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 with a pluralistic system of providers. 
                                                                                               Back to Top

Do people in community corrections get any services?

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

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. 
                                                                                              Back to Top

Are all community corrections programs the same?

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 John Eachon ReEntry Program (JERP), and Sex Offender Supervision and Treatment 
Programs (SOSTP).
                                                                                                Back to Top

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.
                                                                                                Back to Top

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.
                                                                                                 Back to Top

When someone is in community corrections, does he or she still have to pay their bills?

People in community corrections are required to pay their bills, and are given guidance in regards to their finances 
from the community corrections program.
                                                                                                 Back to Top

How many people are in community corrections in Colorado?

There are approximately 4000 people in community corrections on a given day. 
                                                                                                  Back to Top

How do I find out which facility someone went to?

Community Corrections Programs are not allowed to release client information to the public. It is up to the community corrections client to let you know where he or she is living.
                                                                               Back to Top