Up to 20,000 Colorado Inmates May Be Behind Bars Past Their Release Dates

Federal lawsuit alleges mass error


state pen

As many as 20,000 prisoners in Colorado may have been kept in incarceration longer than they were supposed to because of a foul up in the rewarding of time off for good behavior. According to the Denver blog Westword, a federal lawsuit filed by four state prisoners alleges that:

the DOC [Department of Corrections] is misapplying state law in the way it calculates the mandatory release date (MRD) of its inmates. Under state statutes, inmates can get up to fifteen days a month of "good time" by following the rules, cutting their sentences in half. They can also shave a month off their time every six months through completing training and counseling programs—"earned time." The DOC does award such sentence modifications, the lawsuit states, but then fails to apply them when figuring out the MRD. Since the actual release date influences a host of other decisions, from what sort of programs inmates are offered to when the prisoner actually gets a chance to meet with the parole board, the failure to apply good time and earned time ends up keeping inmates behind bars past what the prisoners contend is their statutorily mandated release date.

The lawyers for the prisoners are looking to turn the suit into a class action, because of how many inmates could have been affected by the alleged error. One of the prisoners, Randal Ankeney, already won his release in an appeals court. During that case, the DOC insisted the awarding of time off was at their discretion. The judge disagreed. The current federal lawsuit, filed by Ankeney and three others, will test whether the appeals ruling will apply to the estimated 20,000 inmates in Ankeney's position.

Ankeney, incidentally, was apparently a rising star in the Colorado GOP before pleading guilty to sexual assault in 2008.

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  1. All together now… FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY!

    1. I’m not even sure those in government could will the energy to say FUCK YOU at this point. More appropriate would be “mumble mumble, maybe I’ll look into it after the campaign.”

  2. Maybe instead of figuring out how to reduce time served to alleviate over crowded jails, the justice system should focus on dangerous criminals and leave peaceful people alone.

    1. But then how would they continue to get votes and money from the police officer and prison guard unions?

      1. But then how would they continue to get votes and money from the police officer and prison guard unions?

        Are there more non-violent prisoners than police? Seriously it’s people like my mother-in-law that don’t care that police violate people’s rights because it’s the right kind of people getting beat down. They vote for more laws and more prison because the world is so much more dangerous today than when they were a child.

        1. My father-in-law was going on and on about that stuff while we visited for Christmas. At one point I just had to get up, walk into another room, and put in my earbuds and listen to music before I started an argument I wasn’t going to win.

          (My mom thinks the same thing, but she’s learned to stop making those arguments around me.)

          1. I’m in the same boat. It is like the twilight zone. My in-laws are from Guatemala and Peru but you will never hear more staunch pro-police state, anti-immigration people as them. I think to myself, you saw state police disappear people in Central America and then come hear and support big government. The only thing I can think is because America was seen as the ideal land of opportunity, that good will gets transferred to the government. My wife has to remind me to let it go, but I get so fired up sometimes.

  3. Westword? Is Yul Brynner in the logo?

    1. No and the Westword is some of then best reporting in Colorado.

      1. It would be better with Yul Brynner in the logo.

    2. My brother-in-law claims that is the first movie with CGI.

      1. I was all ready to come on here and say your brother-in-law is a moron (I always thought it was The Last Starfighter). Turns out he was at least partially right.

        Westworld 1973 First use of 2D computer animation in a significant entertainment feature film. The point of view of Yul Brynner’s gunslinger was achieved with raster graphics.

        The Last Starfighter 1984 Uses CGI for all spaceship shots, replacing traditional models. First use of ‘integrated CGI’ where the effects are supposed to represent real world objects.

  4. When Ankeney, then 30, was first arrested in 2001, he stood accused of picking up a 13-year old girl he had met on the Internet, taking her to his home, getting her drunk and stoned on marijuana, taking topless photos of her and trying to coerce her into having sex with him. Many prominent GOP leaders at the time ? including Owens ? were stunned and repulsed by his arrest

    a man who was so passionately committed to his political party that he named his dogs Nixon and Reagan


  5. “20,000 inmates might stay in jail”

    Yeah…I really don’t have a problem with that.

    1. You don’t?

  6. Ankeney, incidentally, was apparently a rising star in the Colorado GOP before pleading guilty to sexual assault in 2008.

    I guess there really is a RETHUGLIKKKAN WAR ON WOMYNZ!!!111!!!

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