Probation is a kind of criminal sentence given to those convicted of a crime, either as the punishment itself or as the deferred sentence for a person already in a correctional facility. Probation allows the individual to live outside of jail or prison for the duration of the sentence. If she follows the terms of her probation, the punishment is considered rendered. Colorado has its own rules regarding probation as regulated by the Colorado State Judicial Branch.
General Probation Requirements
All individuals under probation are required to “remain law-abiding” while on probation: in other words, if they break the law, then they risk going or returning to a correctional facility. However, in addition to this general stipulation, courts in Colorado may assign other terms and conditions to probation, which can range from paying restitution damages to undergoing therapy. Also, those on probation in Colorado are typically required to remain within a certain jurisdiction and to check in regularly with a probation officer.
Probation Transfers in Colorado
There are 22 separate Judicial Districts in Colorado, and each one has its own Probation Department. However, these districts often work together. Thus, even though a person may be convicted of a crime in a Judicial District that is different from where he lives, he will be allowed to meet with a probation officer closer to his home provided that certain criteria are met. Also, offenders who are from a state other than Colorado may have the option of transferring to a Judicial District in their home state
provided that the courts from that state also agree. Usually, the individual must have family or a job in that state in order for such a transfer to be approved.
Violation of Probation
If an individual on probation in Colorado in any way violates the terms and conditions of his sentence, a complaint may be filed, in which case there will often be another court hearing to determine whether or not probation was actually violated. If the courts decide that it was, probation will be revoked, and the violator will be resentenced, either to further probation or to a correctional facility.
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In Colorado, there are specialized kinds of probation for certain offenses and offenders. One of these is alcohol probation, which is overseen by the Alcohol Drug Driving Safety Unit of the Probation Department. This kind of probation is often ordered for drunken-driving offenses, and defendants are required to undergo an alcohol evaluation and to take a certain level of alcohol classes. Defendants may also be sentenced to perform community service hours, and typically don’t meet directly with a probation officer.
Another specific kind of probation in Colorado involves the AIIM (Alternatives to Incarceration for Individuals with Mental Health Needs) program. Community Corrections, the Mental Health Department, the Sheriff’s Department and the Probation Department work together for this program, which is aimed at treating and supervising those with mental health problems. These individuals are considered to be on probation in Colorado.