Increased crime wave throughout Colorado, according to new report

Former Denver District Attorney advises on high crime rates
Former Denver district attorney and criminal justice expert advises on high crime rates in Colorado
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 8:03 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 8:25 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Violent crime has increased by 30% over the last decade in Colorado, according to a new report.

The report, “The Colorado Crime Wave: An Economic Analysis of Crime and the Need for Data Driven Solutions,” released Thursday ranks Colorado number one in auto and property theft in the nation. You can read the report at the bottom of this article.

Former Denver District Attorney, Mitch Morrissey, sheds some insight on contributing factors that led to the rising crime rates. He was responsible for the prosecution of more than 6,000 felony and 15,000 misdemeanor criminal cases each year, before retiring in 2017.

“What we’re seeing are people committing violent crimes and repeat offenders being arrested then let out the next day,” explained Morrissey in a one-on-one interview with 11 News Reporter Jessica McClain. “These criminals will appear on Zoom or in court, but what they’re doing is committing crimes while out on bond.”

There are a high number of people under the supervision of the criminal justice system that are on parole, on bond, or out on probation that are re-offending.

According to Morrissey, adjustments are being made for time served while these felons are serving, how much time off they get, and how soon they’ll get paroled. The violent crime rate was significantly lower 10 years ago and homicide rates were at an all-time low. The State of Colorado needs to look at policies and state legislative laws put in place and change them, Morrissey suggests.

“We have to look at those things that have impacted our rise in violent crimes across the board which are very concerning to people,” according to Morrissey. “And refocus when it comes to accountability in the State of Colorado.”

You can watch the interview with former DA and criminal justice expert, Mitch Morrissey at the top of this article.


  • The 2021 violent crime rate is on pace to be the highest since 1994.
  • The cost of crime totaled more than $27 billion in 2020, which is an average cost per Coloradan of $4,762 a year.

    Tangible costs total $8.5 billion or $1.5 billion more than the combined total market value of the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies, Avalanche, and Rapids ($6.77 billion).

    Intangible costs related to victim suffering, reduced quality of life, and other societal costs totaled more than $19 billion.
  • Colorado had the #1 highest increase in its property crime rate between 2011 and 2020 among all states.
  • Colorado had the highest motor vehicle theft rate among all states in 2020. In the last ten years, the Colorado rate has increased by 135%, while the national rate increased just 3% through 2020.
  • Colorado’s violent crime rate in 2020 was 35% higher than 2011; nationally the rate grew only 3%
  • Between 2008 and 2021, the Colorado prison population declined by 23%, or by more than 8,000 inmates. During that same period the total number of annual crimes increased by 47%, or by 131,399 annual crimes.
  • The number of Personal Recognizance (PR) bonds in Denver increased by 61% over the last two years and has even increased for more serious crimes. PR bond issuances have increased by 254% for Class 2 felonies from 2018 to 2020.
  • In 2020 there were 538 $1 bonds issued in Denver and in 2021 there were 562. Between 2017 and 2019, there were only 2.
  • The recidivism rate in Colorado ranks among the top 5 in the nation

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