Sen. Stoops has introduced SB 443 concerning modification of an offender’s sentence to include community corrections. If more than a year has passed since a court has sentenced an offender, the court cannot modify the offender’s sentence without the approval of the Prosecutor. The exception, under current law, is that the court can modify the offender’s sentence to impose community corrections time in lieu of incarceration if, in the original sentencing hearing, the court could have placed the person in the community corrections program.
This bill would modify that somewhat to say that the court can make the modification if the person is eligible for placement in a community corrections program at the time of modification or would be eligible if the person was initially being sentenced at the time of modification.
I’m not entirely sure what the distinction is. I know that Community Corrections programs have eligibility criteria. I would have thought those criteria governed the ability of courts to modify an offender’s sentence under current law. But, this seems to make that clearer, I guess. Also, there may be something about an original sentence that would render an offender ineligible (maybe a plea agreement that requires executed time) but with this legislation the court could modify the sentence to include community corrections even if, at the time of the initial sentence or because of the initial sentence, the offender would be ineligible.
I’d be happy to hear from someone who has a clearer idea about what’s being accomplished here.