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DepartmentColorado Department of Corrections

The DOC Mission

The Colorado Department of Corrections provides protection and public safety by managing offenders in controlled environments of prisons, community-based facilities and parole programs that are safe, humane, appropriately secure, and provide work and self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in community-reintegration.

Our Vision

To be recognized as a progressive, stable, and professional correctional system that achieves excellence by focusing on:

Public Service

Responding to stakeholders and consumers of correctional services through proactive partnerships with Colorado policy makers and local communities.


Employees at all levels and functions working together as a team with trust, integrity and supportive relationships that include a common vision, mission and goals.

Staff Development

Providing professional development for staff in order to achieve excellence in job performance.

Inmate Management

Providing work and programs to develop skills, attitudes and behavior that enhance offender management and improve chances of successful reintegration into society.

Continuous Improvement

Continuously improving all operating and administrative systems to achieve consistency, efficiency and excellence.


Prison Facilities

Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center

DRDC is the first stop for all offenders sentenced to the Department of Corrections. Located on Smith Road, just east of the Denver County Jail, staff at the 400-bed maximum security facility process, test and classify offenders entering the system, who then await placement at one of the facilities described below.

Colorado State Penitentiary

CSP opened in 1993, and is a 504 bed (soon to increase to 756 in 1998) management control unit, housing the department's most violent and dangerous offenders. It is located in the DOC's East Canon Complex, 5000 acres of land just outside of Canon City.

Centennial Correctional Facility

CCF is also located on the East Canon Complex. The facility, built in 1980, is designated for 336 close custody inmates and has a staff of 160.

Fremont Correctional Facility

FCF is the state's largest prison with 1181 medium security beds. The first unit was built in 1962 and the second built as a separate facility in 1980. The two were combined under a single administrative structure in 1991, and FCF has a staff of 362.

Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility

CTCF is the department's oldest facility, originally constructed in 1871. Located on Highway 50 in Canon City, CTCF today houses 566 medium security inmates as well as 120 in transition to other DOC facilities. Also located at CTCF is a 32-bed infirmary which services all Canon area facilities and a variety of the DOC's business offices, including payroll, purchasing and communications.

Canon Minimum Centers

CMC consists of four separate facilities under a single administrative structure in the DOC's East Canon Complex. The Skyline Correctional Center opened in 1964, and has a capacity of 200 minimum security inmates. The Four Mile Correctional Center is a minimum-restricted security facility, opened in 1981, and currently houses 588 inmates. The Pre-Release Center, opened in 1983, attempts to ease the inmates' transition back into society by offering a series of life skills programming. PRC has a capacity of 164. The newest of the Canon Minimum Centers is the Arrowhead Correctional Center, a minimum-restricted security facility housing 484 inmates which opened in 1990. CMC has a total staff of 388.

Colorado Women's Correctional Facility

CWCF, located just west of DOC's East Canon Complex, opened in 1968. The facility today has the capacity to house 274 inmates ranging from maximum to minimum custody level. CWCF has a staff of 90.

Pueblo Minimum Center

PMC is a 206-bed minimum-restricted facility for females. Opened in 1994, the facility consists of three renovated units on the grounds of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. Inmates assigned to PMC work for CMHIP and do other community projects in the Pueblo area.

Buena Vista Correctional Facility

Located in Buena Vista, Colorado, BVCF was constructed in 1892 as the Colorado State Reformatory and served as housing for juveniles. BVCF today houses 955 adult male medium and minimum-restricted inmates and has a staff of 364. Also located on the grounds of BVCF is the Colorado Corrections Alternative Program, or "boot camp", a 100-bed unit designated as a regimented inmate discipline program for young male and female inmates who have not previously served time in the system.

Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility

Located near Ordway, Colorado, approximately 50 miles east of Pueblo, AVCF was the first new major adult facility built outside the Canon City area. The facility opened in 1986 and houses 1,007 medium custody inmates with a staff of 333.

Limon Correctional Facility

LCF is also one of the DOC's newer facilities, having opened in April, 1991. Architecturally similar to AVCF, the facility is medium security, houses 958 inmates, and has a staff of 328.

Delta Correctional Center

DCC, opened in 1964, is a minimum security facility and houses 400 inmates with a staff of 70. The facility will expand to house 480 in 1998. Many inmates assigned to DCC work off-grounds in assignments for local, state, federal and non-profit agencies, saving Colorado taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Rifle Correctional Center

RCC, opened in 1969, is a minimum security facility and houses 150 inmates with a staff of 35. Like Delta, many inmates at Rifle are assigned to outside labor crews. Some assignments include the Rifle Senior Center, and an inmate staffs the Rifle Animal Shelter on a full-time basis.

Colorado Correctional Center

CCC, opened in 1969, is a minimum security facility located in Golden, houses 150 inmates and has a staff of 35. Many inmates have work assignments off-grounds with other state agencies or the Correctional Industries outlet in Denver.

San Carlos Correctional Facility

SCCF is a 250-bed close security facility on the grounds of the Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, opened in July, 1995, housing chronically mentally ill inmates.

Youth Offender System

YOS was authorized by the Colorado Legislature in the 1993 Special Session to deal with juvenile violence. Intended as a middle tier between the Division of Youth Corrections and the Department of Corrections for violent youth felons, the program is currently housed at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center. The new 300-bed YOS facility is scheduled to be opened in 1998 on the Colorado Mental Health Institute of Pueblo campus. YOS combines a firm, disciplined regimentation with a full schedule of academics, work, interpersonal relations, pre-vocational skills within a positive peer culture.

Planned facilities:


Community Corrections in Colorado

Community corrections programs were established in Colorado in 1977. The Division of Community Corrections is responsible for the statewide administration of community corrections programs for adult offenders sentenced to the Department of Corrections and youthful offenders sentenced to the Youth Offender System, (YOS). The program includes the referral, movement, management, supervision and remediation of inmates assigned to 24 residential/halfway house programs, a "Boot Camp" transitional release program, a nonresidential Intensive Supervision Program (ISP), and YOS supervision. Community corrections programs provide specialized treatment services focusing on substance abuse, mental health, family reintegration, vocational, employment and parole/community release planning.

An inmate may be referred for community residential placement within 19 months of his/her parole eligibility (PED), violent offenders at 9 months. Placement of all adult offenders requires the approval of one of the 22 statewide local community corrections boards.


Parole in Colorado

Parole is a conditional release from prison, made by an independent seven-member board appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Colorado Senate. For all crimes committed after 1985, parole is conditional. From 1979 to 1985, parole in Colorado was mandatory, meaning that the board could only set conditions for parolees to follow, but offenders had to be paroled.

Common conditions of parole are that an offender must maintain a certain residence, and attend certain treatment programs. If an offender violates condition of parole, the supervising parole officer may bring the offender in front of the parole board, and the board may revoke the offender's parole, sending him/her back to prison. The board may revoke parole for any time frame, up to the remaining length of the offender's sentence. Parole also has an Intensive Supervision Program, which includes a significantly higher level of supervision, with electronic monitoring.


Colorado Department of Corrections 1995
By the Numbers

Admissions & Releases

1996 5,371
1995 4,746
1994 4,373
1993 4,040
1992 4,061
1991 3,498

1994 3,593
1993 3,563
1992 3,309
1991 3,115


Intake by County

Denver 28.1%
El Paso 10.7%
Jefferson 10.5%
Arapahoe 8.4%
Adams 8.2%
Larimer 5.2%
Weld 4.5%
Boulder 3.8%
Pueblo 3.3%
Mesa 3.1%
All other 14.2%


Population by Gender

Male 93%
Female 7%


Population by Ethnicity

Anglo 41.8%
Hispanic 31.3%
African American 22.8%
Native American 2.2%
Asian American .4%
Unknown 1.4%


Top Five Crimes

Sex Assault 5.5%
Attempts/Conspiracies/Accessories 4.2%
Assault 5.5%
Menacing 3.4%
Robbery 3.9%

Drug Offenses 22.6%
Attempts/Conspiracies/Accessories 9.6%
Theft 7.5%
Burglary 7.3%
Escape 7.4%

Average Sentence Length

Violent Offenses
2nd degree kidnapping 74.3 years
2nd degree murder 35.3 years
1st sexual assault 100.3 years
Sex assault on child 14.3 years
Aggravated Robbery 15.7 years

Non-Violent Offenses
2nd degree burglary 9.7 years
Theft, Class 2 8.9 years
Drugs, Class 2 6.1 years
Aggrevated motor vehicle theft 5.3 years

Distribution by Age

Male 15 to 19 2.1%
20 to 29 37.1%
30 to 39 37.2%
40 to 49 17.1%
50+ 6.5%

Female 15 to 19 1.7%
20 to 29 29.9%
30 to 39 45.4%
40 to 49 17.8%
50+ 5.1%

DOC Budget in Millions

FY 1997 $302
FY 1996 $268
FY 1995 $242
FY 1994 $217
FY 1993 $188
FY 1992 $168
FY 1991 $179
FY 1990 $153

Inmate Jurisdictional Population Levels

1996 11,019
1995 10,564
1994 9,622
1993 9,068
1992 8,474
1991 7,794

Colorado Department of Corrections - Meeting the Challenges of Explosive Growth

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last modified 10/14/97