9NEWS (Denver): Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Monday that will end Colorado’s practice of secretly transferring some prisoners out of state and denying victims information about where going. The Governor signed the bill behind closed doors, despite lawmakers’ request to have a public bill signing, so that victims could attend and celebrate a policy change they helped usher in.
The governor’s office also didn’t inform the four bill sponsors, who found out about the signing from 9Wants to Know phone calls.
“It’s unfortunate the bill was signed into law without the victims in attendance,” said Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “This bill was motivated by their right to be informed. Here we are again, with victims being kept in the dark, and the governor signs it without notifying them or the bill sponsors.”
Victims have expressed the desire to know where their perpetrators are serving time. Most inmates incarcerated in the Colorado Department of Corrections are easily found on-line. Over the nearly two years that 9Wants to Know has been covering this issue, numerous victims publicly spoke about the pain of not knowing where the killers of their children were serving time and called on the governor to change a decade-long practice.
“It would have been nice if we were there, if he made a big deal about it, if we would’ve gotten pens like they get at bill signings,” said Christine Ridgeway, grandmother of Jessica Ridgeway, who was murdered in 2012.
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