The Denver Post

Colorado has reduced its prison population, but at what cost to public safety?

A push to reduce recidivism rates among Colorado parolees is leaving dangerous ex-cons on the streets, including a man now accused of murder, another who shot a Denver police officer and another man accused of pimping a teen runaway.

Instead of sending difficult offenders back to prison for breaking rules, parole officers increasingly are told to find alternatives such as counseling, short-term jail stints or other sanctions.

A 2015 law — aimed at reducing the prison population — changed how and when parolees are arrested and sent before the State Parole Board. Then in October, the Department of Corrections added another layer that put the decision about whether to seek parole revocation in the hands of just two people.

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