In the year following the 2013 murder of state prison chief Tom Clements by a parole absconder, parole officers working for the Colorado Department of Corrections put in for an unprecedented 8,858 hours of overtime pay -- and nearly a third of that overtime was logged by one small, elite team create ... More >>
A highly successful parole program that helped inmates serving decades-long sentences transition back to society -- and had the potential to save the Colorado Department of Corrections millions of dollars each year in reduced housing and medical care costs for geriatric prisoners -- has been scuttle ... More >>
This week's cover story traces the dramatic shift in direction of the Colorado Department of Corrections since the 2013 murder of its chief, Tom Clements, by Evan Ebel, a violent parolee who'd just spent six years in solitary confinement. The death of the reform-minded Clements had a profound impact ... More >>
Gabrial Adams, a 38-year-old inmate serving life without parole for his role in a headline-grabbing double-murder committed when he was a teenager, was found dead in his cell on March 9. Although autopsy results have not yet been released and the Colorado Department of Corrections is offering little ... More >>
After the murder of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements last spring by parole absconder Evan Ebel , it was obvious that the state's creaky, overburdened parole system was overdue for some serious scrutiny. Now, Governor John Hickenlooper has proposed a 25 percent boost in the parol ... More >>
At 4:30 a.m. today, Lakewood Police Department and West Metro SWAT reps took custody of Sean Wyles, a wanted fugitive linked to the 211 prison gang. Wyles didn't go easily. According to LPD Detective Ryan McKone, he claimed law enforcers would never take him alive, prompting a standoff that lasted ... More >>
The Colorado Department of Corrections doesn't adequately train parole officers overseeing the electronic monitoring of high-risk parolees -- such as absconder Evan Ebel, who murdered DOC director Tom Clements and another man this year -- and needs to develop more consistent and comprehensive progra ... More >>
At a February hearing, Edward Montour sought to withdraw his guilty plea for a 2002 murder in an effort to avoid the death penalty he'd previously sought. The office of 18th Judicial District DA George Brauchler, who's also seeking death for accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, argued agains ... More >>
It could be, and probably is, just a coincidence. But mere weeks after Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements was gunned down at his door (presumed killer Evan Ebel is also suspected of murdering pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon), and days since the second of two Texas pros ... More >>
The investigation into Evan Ebel, the man thought to have gunned down pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements, has taken another bizarre twist in a continuing series of them. On Saturday, Texas prosecutor Mike McLelland and his wife Cynth ... More >>
His doctors have told Darrell Havens that surgery could help relieve his deteriorating condition, but the wheelchair-bound inmate's keepers in the Colorado Department of Corrections aren't exactly eager to okay the operation -- or to release him to seek care on his own. Havens, who was left a quadri ... More >>
Frustrated by a decade of legal delays and setbacks, the father of slain state corrections officer Eric Autobee says that he now opposes further efforts to obtain the death penalty for inmate Edward Montour Jr. for the 2002 murder. In a recent interview, Bob Autobee also blasted the leadership of th ... More >>
Ryon Olthoff's Facebook page, featuring the memorably defiant profile shot seen here, lists him as having worked at "various positions" with the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2009-2010. Presumably, one of those gigs was "inmate" -- and he'll likely get a chance for a do-over after being cha ... More >>
Contrary to scenes in numerous books and movies, getting locked up doesn't always lead to painful bouts of reflection and self-examination. Criminals are a stubborn bunch, and it's easy behind bars to embrace a convict code and a victim mentality that merely reinforces addictive, self-destructive an ... More >>
Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Grammy winner Marc Cohn got shot in the head in downtown Denver during a car-jacking attempt gone awry. Marc Cohn might be a superhero. At least t ... More >>
After the riot, 2004. Seven years ago inmates at a private prison in southeastern Colorado went on an all-night rampage, chasing the shorthanded staff from the premises, attacking suspected snitches, setting fires and causing millions of dollars in damages. Now documents filed in a long-runni ... More >>
Big pic below.Nick Beram did everything he could to disguise himself while robbing five area banks while armed with a stun gun. During the crimes, he wore sunglasses, a dark-hooded jacket and a white surgical or dust mask. But he didn't bother to disguise his truck -- and that's why he's bee ... More >>
There are two revolving doors in every prison system. One is for the inmates, many of whom fail on parole and keep coming back. The other is reserved for top administrators who, even amid scandal, move easily from high-powered positions of public trust to high-paid jobs in the private prison ... More >>
9NewsBetsy Long, the former green-biz entrepreneur who blew a .252 blood alcohol content following a crash that killed Mary Warren, a young woman bound for the Peace Corps, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and more in December. But accepting responsibility didn't result in a small sentenc ... More >>
Dan PabonIt's inspiring, really, the way state lawmakers pull together when a matter of great social consequence is at stake. Such seems to be the case with the rapid move through committee this week of House Bill 1058, sponsored by Denver Democrat Dan Pabon, which would prevent poor folks fr ... More >>
Krystal VossEven under the best of circumstances, prison is an exercise in humiliation. But life just got a little less nasty for female inmates at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, who no longer have to spread open their genitalia for invasive cavity searches after a family visit. P ... More >>
A few months ago we first reported on the "labia lift" -- an extremely invasive search process that the Colorado Department of Corrections has started using at its Denver women's prison. Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado has taken notice -- and demanded that the DOC immedia ... More >>
Troy Anderson hasn't been exposed to direct sunlight since 2000.Troy Anderson knows he's never going to get out of prison alive. He's spent 23 of his forty years on the inside, and though he's never killed anyone, he's currently serving a 75-year sentence on multiple counts for two shootouts ... More >>
Inmates claim Ronald Ferguson had been in the unit only a few hours when he was killed.Last week, we reported on the bludgeoning death of inmate Ronald Ferguson, a convicted child molester, at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility outside of Canon City. A fifty-year-old habitual off ... More >>
View Larger Map This just in from the Adams County District Attorney's Office. Late yesterday, Kevin Duane Stunes was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Nancy Bannock last Thanksgiving at 1616 E. 78th Avenue, an area captured in the graphic above (if you have problems seeing the image, cl ... More >>
Photo by John Johnston There's plenty to get disgusted about in the story of a Colorado female inmate who was awarded $1.3 million in damages for two years' worth of sexual assaults by a male guard. As this report in the Denver Post recounts, federal judge David Ebel blasted the Colorado Department ... More >>
How does DA Carol Chambers beat the high cost of a death-penalty prosecution? By billing the prison system.
Taking stock of kitchen slang.
At least one out of every five Colorado prisoners is mentally ill -- some violent, some undetected or untreated. How did the Big House become the Bug House?
Inmates blow the whistle on male guards at a Pueblo women's prison.
This place is a zoo!
Joseph Paiva was born defective, but prosecutors stamped him a habitual criminal.
The sordid legal saga of Katica Crippen, Second Amendment pinup girl.
A year in the life of the state's most dysfunctional prison.
The Department of Corrections cooks up a culinary program for prisoners.
Jokin' Joe Has Left and Gone Away
A gruesome crime. A bizarre defense. Can a crusading author reopen her best friend's case?
How inmate phone services lock up profits.
Colorado's cheap solution to prison overcrowding has cost inmates plenty. It could cost the state millions.
As its inmate population ages, the Colorado prison system discovers there's no con like an old con.