Governor Ritter Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Flanked by Rep. Priola, Sen. Steadman, Rep. Waller, Sen. Morse, Rep. Levy, Sen.  Newell, and Sen. Hudak in a historic moment for criminal justice reform, Governor Bill Ritter signed ten bills into law at a  signing ceremony this afternoon. Included in these, were three of CCJRC’s priority bills HB 1352 (drug sentencing reform), HB 1360 (reducing revocations for technical parole violations) and HB 1374 (new statutory parole guidelines).  A big thank you goes out to all of the legislators who sponsored and supported all of this legislation.

Other Bills Signed into Law Include:

  • HB 1338 expands judicial discretion to allow the court to sentence someone to probation even if s/he has two or more prior felony convictions, excluding certain violent offenses.
  • HB 1347 which increases the minimum jail term required for repeat drunk driving convictions.
  • HB 1373 repeals the  mandatory consecutive sentencing required for a conviction for escape unless the escapee is on “inmate status.”
  • HB 1413 increases the minimum age from 14 to 16 years that would allow the district attorney to  “direct file” charges against a juvenile in adult court, except in cases where the defendant is charged with murder or a sex offense.
  • SB 54 which requires a school district to provide educational services during the school year to a  juvenile being held, pending charges as an adult, in jail within the school district.
  • HB 1081 relocates the money laundering crime from the Controlled Substances Act to the fraud statute.
  • HB 1277 makes it a crime for an employee or a volunteer to have any sexual activity with a juvenile who is an inmate in a detention facility or community corrections program.
  • Tomorrow, Governor Ritter is also scheduled to sign into law SB 189 which authorizes county health departments to develop syringe exchange programs.

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