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Sentencing

After an individual is found guilty of a crime, a judge imposes a sentence which may include fees, fines, community service, probation, jail, community corrections, or prison. Prosecutors and defense attorneys can negotiate plea bargains or make sentencing recommendations to the judge, who decides on the ultimate sentence. This section presents information on sentencing by the most severe sentence imposed on the case. 

Why is this important? It is important to ensure sentences minimize unnecessary punitiveness while appropriately addressing serious crime. In addition, we want to treat all individuals fairly and equitably.








A new case management system was implemented in August 2021. Due to this change, please refer to the fourth quarter 2021 section for the most accurate reflection of the data.




Due to a change in the Denver DA's case management system in August of 2021, we have more confidence in data after the fourth quarter of 2021.




Due to a change in the Denver DA's case management system in August of 2021, we have more confidence in data after the fourth quarter of 2021.


Indicators

Below are a set of indicators that provide additional context about sentencing. These indicators help the DA's Office ensure we are seeking equitable outcomes in the type and severity of sentences imposed, reducing unnecessary pretrial detention, and avoiding unwarranted incarceration without compromising public safety.


Our goal is to increase the percentage of custodial sentences for serious offenses. We are further examining the data within the category “Percent involving other offenses” to understand if this is due to repeat defendants or due to probation revocations.











Our goal is to achieve equity in plea outcomes across all defendants. There are well-recognized difficulties in collecting accurate race and ethnicity data. One should keep these difficulties in mind when reviewing metrics which include race and/or ethnicity. We support efforts by our law enforcement partners to more accurately collect race and ethnicity data.




Our goal is to achieve equity in plea outcomes across all defendants. There are well-recognized difficulties in collecting accurate race and ethnicity data. One should keep these difficulties in mind when reviewing metrics which include race and/or ethnicity. We support efforts by our law enforcement partners to more accurately collect race and ethnicity data.

Click Here for more information about race and ethnicity data collection and limitations.



Public Defender Qualification: In Colorado, incarcerated defendants are automatically appointed a public defender for as long as they remain in custody. Out-of-custody defendants must apply and meet federal indigence requirements to qualify for a public defender. Therefore, there is the potential for public defenders to be representing individuals accused of more serious crimes.



Pretrial Detention Indicators

Below are a set of indicators that provide additional context about pretrial detention, incarceration in jail prior to case resolution. These indicators help the DA's Office ensure the reduction of unnecessary pretrial detention.







Our goal is to achieve equity in plea outcomes across all defendants. There are well-recognized difficulties in collecting accurate race and ethnicity data. One should keep these difficulties in mind when reviewing metrics which include race and/or ethnicity. We support efforts by our law enforcement partners to more accurately collect race and ethnicity data.




Our goal is to achieve equity in plea outcomes across all defendants. There are well-recognized difficulties in collecting accurate race and ethnicity data. One should keep these difficulties in mind when reviewing metrics which include race and/or ethnicity. We support efforts by our law enforcement partners to more accurately collect race and ethnicity data.

Click Here for more information about race and ethnicity data collection and limitations.


Notes:

  • This data reflects only those cases where a sentence was ultimately imposed. Cases that resulted in diversion, an outright dismissal, or some other resolution, are not reflected here. 
  • This data represents initial sentences only, sometimes a case may have a subsequent sentence in cases because of a revocation of probation or due to a request to modify the sentence. Those subsequent sentences are not represented here.
  • Warrants are excluded (for all cases identified as a warrant).