AGO 84-26.

Case Date:December 24, 1984
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1984. AGO 84-26. December 24, 1984Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 84-26 AG Alpha No. CO ED AGANU Chase Riveland Executive Director, Department of Corrections Suite 2200, North Building 2860 South Circle Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80906 RE: Mandatory housing of violent offenders in major institutions for at least 6 months.Dear Mr. Riveland: I am writing in response to your request for a formal legal opinion regarding the mandatory housing of violent offenders in major institutions for at least 6 months. It is my understanding that the Department of Corrections ("the department") seeks clarification of this requirement which is found in section 17-25-103, C.R.S. (1978). The answer to this question will help to assure that the department is complying with its statutory obligations concerning the mandatory housing of certain offenders in major institutions. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS What definition should the department use when identifying and defining violent offenders who must be housed in a major institution for at least 6 months? There is no statutory definition of violent offenders in the applicable statute. Thus, the department may define this term in accord with its familiar and generally accepted meaning. In determining the satisfaction of the 6 month requirement, should the department consider only time spent within facilities operated by the department or should it also consider periods of presentence confinement and/or periods of confinement in a county jail awaiting receipt by the department after imposition of sentence? My conclusion is that in measuring the 6 month obligation the department should consider only time spent within facilities operated by the department, beginning with the inmate's arrival at the reception and diagnostic center. ANALYSIS Section 17-25-103 states, in pertinent part, "No adult felony violent or sex offender shall be placed by the department in a minimum security facility located in any county without first having been placed in at least one more restrictive setting for not less than 6 months." The department requests a definition of the term "violent offender." This term is not defined in article 25 of title 17. According to accepted rules of statutory...

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