In 2020, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 20-1019 that, among other items, mandates a prison utilization study to be undertaken by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). After issuing a request for proposals, Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded a contract to conduct the study to CGL Companies, a long-established and nationally recognized criminal justice consulting firm.
The study evaluates the prison bed needs in Colorado and provides a utilization analysis of all state and privately operated facilities. It also analyzes the feasibility of the Colorado Department of Corrections to obtain privately owned facilities, or to utilize unused state-owned buildings to meet prison bed needs.
A second aspect of the study determines the economic and other impacts that potential private prison closure would have on local governments and the wider community, and recommends strategies to diversify the affected local economies. CGL partnered with RPI Consulting of Durango to conduct this component. Input from affected community members, local governments, and stakeholder groups played a key part of this portion of the study.
The completed study was submitted to the General Assembly in January 2021.
The Prison Utilization Study Advisory Committee was convened by the Department of Local Affairs as directed by the enactment of House Bill 20-1019. The Advisory Committee's charge is to consult with the private research firm retained to study Colorado's prison facilities needs and provide an analysis of economic impacts that potential prison closures would have on affected communities. Committee meetings are open to the public.
Traci Stoffel, Main Street Specialist