Joint judiciary committee hearings on Colorado's parole policies start Thursday

DENVER - The Colorado Department of Corrections' handling of parolees will be put under the microscope once again on Thursday, when the Joint Judiciary Committee begins two days of hearings at the State Capitol.

CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta obtained draft copies of the meeting agendas. It shows the committee, led by Representative Daniel Kagan, plans to spend two full days digging into the DOC's Parole Division. They'll examine how it functions today and what changes need to be made.

"We're not going to ask superficial questions, this is going to be serious and thorough," Kagan said.

The agenda for Thursday shows a heavy focus on Intensive Supervision Probation, known as "ISP." It is a classification reserved for the state's most dangerous criminals.

Parolee Evan Ebel was in the ISP program when he cut off his ankle monitor and disappeared in March. He went on to commit two murders in Colorado before he was killed in a shootout in Texas.

"Once they've determined who is on Intensive Supervised Probation, are they intensively supervised? There's some indication that there have been lapses of an egregious nature," Kagan said.

Parolee review and the transition of parolees into the community will also be discussed on Thursday, the agenda shows.

Marchetta asked Kagan, "At this point do you think the DOC will be compelled to give you the specifics you're looking for to insure your constituents that change is really occurring?"

"I'm gonna do everything in my power to make sure we get solid answers," he replied.

Friday's agenda includes appearances by the DOC's new executive director, Rick Raemisch, and interim parole director Steve Hager. Questions on the agenda range from the way parolees are assessed and how officers do their work.

This will be a rare chance to hear from Raemisch and Hager, as they've previously denied 7NEWS' requests for interviews.

"We're gonna find out facts, figures, policies," Kagan said. "We're gonna investigate it all. No stone must be left unturned when public safety is at risk."

The hearings are open to the public and Marchetta will be attending to file reports for 7NEWS.

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