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Colo. Ramps Up Efforts To Track Parolees

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Colorado prison officials are ramping up efforts to monitor parolees and respond to problems with their electronic monitoring equipment following the slaying of the state's corrections chief.

State lawmakers approved $495,000 for the plan Wednesday. The department already has the funds but needed permission from lawmakers to use it in next year's budget.

The extra efforts will start immediately and include monthly roundups of fugitives.

Parole records show that white supremacist gang member Evan Ebel slipped out of his ankle bracelet five days before Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements was killed at his home. Ebel is the only suspect in Clements' death.

Colorado court officials have found two more sentencing errors like the one that allowed the only suspect in the killing of the state's corrections to walk out of prison four years early.

Court officials said Tuesday the new errors were uncovered during a review of five years' worth of assault cases ordered by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to The Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/d8x4hpk), neither mistake resulted in any inmates being improperly released. The erroneous sentences have since been corrected.

Walter Blair, administrator for the 11th Judicial District, confirmed the errors to The Associated Press. In a statement, the district said the errors are minor, isolated problems, and not indicative of a larger systemic issue.

Evan Ebel has been linked to the March 19 killing of corrections director Tom Clements and the killing of a pizza deliveryman two days before.

Ebel, who was on parole, was killed in a shootout in Texas. He was released from prison four years early because of a clerical error. Already serving time for a series of convictions, Ebel was sentenced to an additional four years for assaulting a prison officer, but because it was unclear the sentences were supposed to be served consecutively, officials treated the sentences as concurrent, and Ebel walked out of prison in January.

The State Court Administrator's Office is reviewing any cases involving convictions on charges requiring consecutive sentences.

About two months after his release, Ebel slipped out of his ankle bracelet, but parole officers didn't realize he had tampered with his bracelet until five days after the fact, the same day Clements was killed.

Parole officers are now required to respond to alerts from ankle bracelets within two hours.

State lawmakers were meeting to finalize next year's budget Wednesday and were expected to add about $650,000 for new parole supervision policies.


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