Colorado Community Parole Officer Time and Workload Assessment Study

Source: Suzanne Tallarico, National Center for State Courts, Revised May 15, 2014

The citizens of Colorado expect that paroled offenders will be safely supervised in the community. To accomplish this expectation, the Community Parole Officers (CPOs) must have the adequate resources, including time, to effectively supervise the offenders on their caseloads. When caseload sizes become too large for CPOs to safely manage, the quality of supervision and, thus, public safety may be jeopardized. But how is one to determine what an appropriate caseload size is? Currently, the state of Colorado bases its need for Community Parole Officers on some measure of caseload standards, though these have not been empirically assessed since the early 1990s. The Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) contracted with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to conduct a time and workload study to develop empirically-based workload values for Community Parole Officers, enabling the department to determine the number of CPOs required to supervise the average daily population (ADP) of parolees in the community. … Based on the ADP of cases on parole calculated for this study, the CPO workload assessment model indicates that a total of 273.34 CPO FTEs are needed to fully staff the four parole regions and the interstate office. This represents an increase of 52.34 over the current 221 CPOs currently allocated to active supervision caseloads (the 10 FAU CPOs and 4 Transport Unit CPOs are excluded from the total CPO workforce figure). The model does not compute staffing needs for either the Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU) or the Transport Unit, for reasons described earlier in this report in the Workload Values section. Both units are specifically staffed to engage in certain duties and workload values could not be derived for their work. …