Coloradans leaving prison will now get a state ID

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Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s former inmates will now be issued a state ID when they leave prison.

The bill to require issuance of IDs to eligible inmates was created among the Department of Corrections, the Department of Revenue, and the nonprofit Healthier Colorado. This would solidify the current Department of Corrections Offender Identification Assistance Program.

“It’s not often that we get to pass a bill with an expected 100% efficacy rate,” said Healthier Colorado Policy Manager Andrea Stojsavljevic.

The most crucial point in preventing recidivism in a former inmate is right after leaving the prison system. Receiving a state issued ID can open many doors to newly released former inmates, such as applying for housing and finding employment.

Before the ID program began, 23% of former inmates leaving the prison system had an ID. The current program has increased that amount to 75%. With the bill passed, it will allow 100% of eligible inmates to leave with a state issued ID.

“We have to applaud and thank the leadership of the Department of Corrections that put a program like this in place,” said Stojsavljevic.

The Department of Corrections will be required to provide eligible inmates exiting the prison system a state issued ID starting January 1 of 2022. The bill is currently on its way to be signed by Governor Polis.

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