DENVER (CBS4) – A bill dealing with sex crimes has exploded in controversy at the State Capitol. District attorneys say the bill would allow some of the state’s most violent sex offenders to be released from prison without any treatment.
The bill sponsor, Rep. Kerry Tipper, says hundreds of them aren’t getting treatment now because of a long waitlist even though a District Court ruled that sex offenders have a constitutional right to treatment in a reasonable time period. Tipper says she’s trying to address that.
The Colorado District Attorneys Council says returning sex offenders to the community before they receive treatment is not the answer.
The council says the bill would allow the parole board to release people convicted of violent sex crimes as long as they’re signed up for community-based treatment and are considered a manageable risk.
It would also prevent treatment providers from limiting an offenders contact with children without a court order and would create a new risk-based sex offender registry. A nine-person board would decide who should be on the registry. Police and prosecutors would no longer get a vote.
Tipper says her only goal is to make sure offenders get the treatment they need.