April 27, 2019

Denver, CO — The Colorado State Senate today voted unanimously to pass SB19-259, Use CSP II To House Inmates In An Emergency, a bipartisan bill that would authorize limited use of the Colorado State Penitentiary II (CSP II) facility in Cañon City to address prison population management issues. The bill now heads to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

“My colleagues in both chambers have worked hard this session to enact a series of much-needed criminal justice reforms that will address overcrowding and high recidivism rates as well as lower our prison population,” said President Garcia. “I am excited this bill will be part of that package of reforms and provide an emergency backstop for the Department of Corrections.”

The CSP II facility in Cañon City was originally built to hold individuals in solitary confinement. In 2012, the legislature passed HB12-1337, which ended solitary confinement and closed the facility. Since then, CSPII has remained closed and unused.  

SB19-259 would allow the Centennial South campus of CSPII to be used on a temporary basis if the state’s male vacant bed rate falls below one percent for two consecutive months. President Garcia worked closely with stakeholders and the Department of Corrections to create guardrails around the use of the prison that would ensure the health and safety of inmates housed there including:

  • Capping the facility’s capacity to no more than 126 inmates at one time;
  • Transferring inmates to other facilities within 30 days of the vacant rate surpassing one percent;
  • Reporting to the Judiciary and Joint Budget Committees within five days of use and continuation every 30 days; and
  • Repealing the use of the facility in 2021.

For more information on SB19-259, please visit: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/SB19-259.