Bill to notify victims of inmate locations heads to governor’s desk

Colorado Politics: Before Colorado’s legislative session started, state Rep. Cole Wist told Colorado Politics it wasn’t right that crime victims or their families put their heads on their pillows each night not knowing where the inmate is jailed.

He said that when an inmate is housed outside the state, victims and their families can go years without knowing where that person is, and in most cases there’s no good reason to keep that from them.

Monday, the Republican from Centennial gave them what he sought: peace of mind.

Senate Bill 14 passed the Colorado House unanimously Monday and heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The bill sailed out of the Senate 33-0 on Jan. 29.

“Families should have the peace of mind of knowing where the person who harmed or killed a loved one is incarcerated,” Wist said in a statement. “This legislation is simply about transparency, and the unanimous support this bill received in both the House and Senate shows how important honoring victims is to this institution.”

The bill was co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, and it was carried in the Senate by two well-known advocates for victims’ right, Sens. John Cooke, R-Greeley, and Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

With Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature, registered victims or family members would be notified within 48 hours whenever an inmate is moved.

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