Colorado Legislative Council Staff


Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-396

Sen. Dennis


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 5, 1998

Senate Judiciary

Susan Colling (866-4784)



Summary of Legislation

            This bill would require all private prisons in Colorado be licensed after June 30, 1999 by the Executive Director of the Department of Corrections or the director’s designee.

            The bill also requires by February 1, 1999 the Executive Director to promulgate rules concerning the issuance of licensure which would include minimum building standards, accreditation, provision of services and program and continuing community input. Rules would also be established by the Director concerning provisional licenses.

            Further, the bill authorizes the issuance of provisional licenses to private prisons that submit plans to the Executive Director or the director’s designee for approval. Such provisional licenses would be good for a 6-month term with the ability of a one time renewal of an additional 6 months.

            The bill establishes a 3-year term for licenses and authorizes the Executive Director or the designee to issue an order to any prison not in compliance with the requirements to comply within a specified period of time. Should the private prison fail to comply, the bill authorizes the Executive Director or the designee to schedule a revocation hearing upon not less than 5 business days. Upon a finding of noncompliance of the licensing requirements, under this bill the Executive Director would be authorized to revoke the license of the private prison and allow issuance of a provisional license.

            The bill also requires any other state agency that regulates operations in private prisons to require the prison to meet the minimum standards the agency requires for state-operated prisons.

            The bill will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the ninety-day period after adjournment sine die of the General Assembly, or on the date of the official declaration of the vote of the people as proclaimed by the Governor, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to Article V, Section 1 (3) of the State Constitution.

            The provisions of this bill would apply to contracts entered into or renewed on or after July 1, 1999.

            The implementation of a licensing program by the Department of Corrections would have minimal impact and would be absorbed within existing resources. Therefore, the bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.

Departments Contacted

            Department of Corrections