With funding from HB 14-1336 and in collaboration with Colorado Department of Revenue, the Colorado Department of Corrections launched two drivers’ license offices; the one located at Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center was officially opened on December 15th, 2014 and the one located at Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility was opened on December 18th, 2014.
All offenders who come into the department go through the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center for process. During this intake, they will meet with Department of Revenue staff to review the current status of any state ID, drivers’ license or commercial drivers’ license. They are then given the opportunity to order a state ID to have sent to the departments ID Bank for storage until their release. If they do not meet eligibility requirements for a state issued ID and/or there are holds on their ID’s (child support, restitution, court fines, traffic fines, etc…), they are notified and this information is entered into an ID tracker. Based on those individual needs, there are other efforts underway that address those; for example, the department orders birth certificates and social security cards for individuals who need additional documentation to prove identity.
For individuals who were incarcerated prior to the implementation of this front end intake process, the department then utilizes their Central Transport Unit to transport offender to one of the two facility based drivers’ license offices or a community based drivers’ license office depending on geographical location of the facility and the offender custody level.
And for offenders who all the above efforts were unsuccessful for obtaining a state ID prior to release, the Department of Corrections is able to issue a waiver to offenders who may be discharging or on parole status in accordance to SB 10-06. The waiver allows for a waiver of costs associated with obtaining a state ID, however, the offender still must prove identity in accordance to the Real ID Act and DOR eligibility guideline.
Prior to the implementation of this collaborative effort, less than 7% of offenders were releasing with any form of identification. Since the implementation, the Department of Corrections has released up to 83% with a State ID / Driver’s license. However, due to COVID the department had to dramatically reduce movement to avoid potential exposure and as such, operations at Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility were suspended. That impacted the number of offenders releasing with State ID’s down to approximately 76%. To address this impact, the Colorado Department of Corrections and Colorado Department of Revenue are working to launch Mobile ID Units that will go directly to each facility and provide the same services as those that are provided at the two DOC facility based drivers’ license offices.