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Colorado State Publications Blog

Auto Theft Prevention Resources

Motor vehicle theft is on the rise, according to statistics from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There were 22,206 cases of auto theft in 2017, a 72{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} increase from 2014! Less than half of the vehicles were recovered. And vehicle break-ins are one of the most common types of property crimes in Colorado.

So what can you do to help protect your vehicle from theft or break-in? What should you do if one happens? And if you’re buying a used car, how do you make sure it’s not stolen?

The Colorado State Patrol has put together a helpful list of resources to answer these questions. The list includes links to information and tips from insurance groups, government agencies, and auto associations about how to protect yourself. Also included are links to auto prevention authorities in other states, since stolen vehicles frequently cross state lines. Resources like a VIN Decoder are also provided to help you verify if a car you wish to purchase had been stolen. You’ll also find links to neighborhood crime reports to help you find out about crime rates in your area, since one third of all vehicle thefts occur at the owner’s home.

You can also find helpful information at lockdownyourcar.org, a website sponsored by the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), a division of the State Patrol. See this publication to learn about what CATPA is doing to reduce vehicle thefts in Colorado. Statistics and information is also available in their annual report.

Did you know that the highest number of vehicle thefts occur between 6 and 9 a.m.? This may be because drivers often leave their cars idling and unattended on cold mornings. There are many things you can do to help reduce the risk of having your car stolen or vandalized, so check out these handy resources to help increase your awareness.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Business Identity Theft

Identity theft doesn’t just target individuals — businesses are also vulnerable to these types of crimes. Hijackers can steal financial information from businesses in order to pose as that business to establish lines of credit or make fraudulent purchases. How can your business protect itself from identity theft and cyber crimes? Three Colorado state agencies – the Secretary of State’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – have teamed up to bring you several helpful resources that can increase awareness and protect your business.

The Business Identity Theft Resource Guide was developed by the three partner agencies to aid businesses in protecting themselves from identity theft as well as to offer guidance to victims. Use the resource guide to learn how to monitor financial activity, safeguard your records and financial information, and protect your customers’ personal information. You can also find more at their Protect Your Business website, and in this brochure.

The Attorney General’s Office, along with the Federal Trade Commission, has also published a separate guide, Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business, which provides numerous helpful tips and resources for planning and protecting businesses from identity theft and fraud. Additionally, the CBI has a helpful website about identity theft and cyber crimes, and the Attorney General’s website also offers information on how to protect your customers, along with other identity theft resources.

For more resources on identity theft, including information on what to do if your individual identity is stolen, visit our library’s online catalog.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Crime Statistics

The Colorado Department of Public Safety recently debuted a new crime statistics database. You can use the site to search statewide or by jurisdiction; year, back to 2008; and type of crime. For example, when you search property crimes, you get charts on location; type of weapon/force; injuries and victim types; time of day/day of week; value of property; and more. For violent crimes, data includes victims’ age, sex, and race; type of weapon/force; relationship of offender to victim; location; etc. DUI and drug data includes arrestee age; arrests by month; drug seizures by drug type; and type of criminal activity.

Check out this handy resource to learn about crime in your area.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Tips for Avoiding Cyber Scams

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What can you do to avoid being a victim of cyber crime? Criminals are increasingly using the internet to target victims, either to steal their identities or scam them out of a lot of money – or both. Below are some common types of cyber fraud, and tips to avoid them. You can read more about these scams on the Colorado Attorney General’s Digital Fraud website.

  • Click bait scams. These are scams where criminals will create an intriguing post on social media with the purpose of tricking the victim into sharing personal information or even installing malware. Tip: when clicking on social media posts, if you receive a suspicious-looking popup asking you to update your video player or scan your computer for viruses, this may be a scam to install malware on your computer or device. But before you even click on the post, hover your cursor over the link to make sure it’s taking you to a safe and familiar website. Even if the post appears to be from someone you know, cyber criminals will often hack into users’ accounts – so if a link looks suspicious or unfamiliar, verify it is legitimate before clicking.
  • Internet auction and classified ad sites. These kinds of scams use legitimate websites to lure customers into false purchases or which cheat sellers out of goods without paying for them. If you’re selling items on an internet auction site, a fake “buyer” might pay for the item with phony checks or money orders. Other types of scams include fake advertisements for property rentals, where an interested renter clicks on a phony ad and is made to fill out a long “application” divulging all kinds of personal information. Also common are fake ticket scams. You send in money to buy tickets for an event, but the tickets never arrive. Tip: For sellers, don’t ship items until you make sure the payment is legitimate. For buyers, do your research on a company by checking sites such as the Better Business Bureau. Don’t give personal information such as social security numbers. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • “Money Flipping” Scams. These are essentially “get rich quick” schemes that advertise over the internet, promising that if you invest a small amount of money you can “flip” it into a larger amount. Tip: Always do your research on a company before sharing any personal or financial information. Your research might reveal complaints. Also, as with click bait scams, sometimes it might look like one of these money flipping deals is coming from someone you know – but it’s possible their account may have been hacked, so always verify first. And again, trust your instincts. If it’s too good to be true…
  • Negative Option Scams. These are scams that send you products you didn’t order and then bill you for them. Or, they trick you into thinking you are ordering something once, only to be added to an “automatic delivery” over and over – again, sending you the bill. “Free trials” that collect money up front can fall into this category. Tip: Once again, do your research to make sure you are doing business with a legitimate company. Also, read the fine print. If you give your credit card number to get a free trial, be certain that the company won’t automatically start billing you after the trial period is over, and be aware of their cancellation policies.
  • Tech Support Scams. These are common scams where you either get a phone call, an email, or a popup pretending to be from your company’s IT department, or from your device’s manufacturer or carrier (e.g., someone claiming to be from Microsoft calls and tells you your computer has a virus). They either trick you into revealing personal/financial information, or gain access to your computer and install their own viruses, spyware, and malware. Tip: Never give a stranger access to your computer or device. Keep your computer or device updated with the latest security software. Don’t click on any suspicious email attachments, and do not respond to suspicious emails – just delete them. And if you’re not sure, contact the company directly and ask them if a call or email you received is legitimate.

These are just a few of the many types of cyber scams. The Colorado Attorney General’s Digital Fraud webpage includes more details on these and other scams, as well as tips on internet browsing safety, online shopping, smart phone security, and how to reduce spam. You can also use this website to report fraud. If you’re a victim of identity theft, be sure to check out the AG’s Identity Theft Repair Kit and other resources on their website.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases

Each year the Colorado Supreme Court’s Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee issues an updated instruction book for juries on criminal cases. This highly detailed document includes laws and information on the jury selection process and information specific to each different crime category, from homicide to traffic offenses and everything in between. The instructions also include comments with legal references, cross references, and relevant case law citations. This guide is an essential resource for judges, attorneys (both prosecution and defense), and other courtroom personnel. Defendants and jury members may also find it helpful in clarifying certain legal matters. You can view the Colorado Jury Instructions – Criminal guide online from our library.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Community Corrections in Colorado

Felonies for controlled substances and assault increased in 2017 over the previous year, while theft and forgery were slightly down, according to the 2017 annual report of the Office of Community Corrections, which was released last week. A part of the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS), the Office of Community Corrections works to “enhance public safety by working to improve the supervision and rehabilitation of offenders assigned to community corrections across Colorado.” Community corrections refers to parole, probation, behavioral health, etc. The annual report offers statistics on offender types, demographics, treatment, escapes and violations, employment, length of stay, criminal history, discharges, child support, and much more. You can find the annual reports going back to 2000 available online from our library.
CDPS also recently released a new research and statistical report, Community Corrections in Colorado: Program Outcomes and Recidivism. The also recently updated their Community Corrections Standards. Other community corrections reports available from our library include:

For additional resources visit our web catalog.

 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

School Safety Resources

Sadly, there has been another school shooting, and our thoughts are with Florida during this difficult time.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and other state agencies have many resources on school safety available to students, schools, and parents, such as

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Colorado State Publications Blog

New Laws in Effect January 1

On New Year’s Day several new laws, passed during the 2016 and 2017 legislative sessions, went into effect.  The new laws are:

The 2018 legislative session will begin on Wednesday, January 10.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Executive Clemency

    The governor’s power to grant or deny pardons has been in the news recently.  How does an offender apply for a pardon or commutation of sentence?  The answer can be found on the Colorado Department of Corrections’ Clemency Requests webpage.  Here the steps for applying for clemency are outlined, along with facts about the process:

    The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction, for all offenses except treason, and except in case of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.  Clemency in Colorado has two types: commutation and pardon. A pardon may be granted after a conviction and is a public forgiveness for a crime after completion of the sentence. A commutation modifies a sentence. The procedure the Colorado Legislature has enacted for the commute and pardon process is found in Colorado Revised Statutes, §§ 16-17-101, 102. There are no fees required to apply for executive clemency and no time constraints under which any application for executive clemency must be processed.


    See the webpage for guidelines and for a link to the application, which must be completed under the advisement of the offender’s case manager.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Preventing School Violence

    A new school year has begun, and students deserve a healthy school experience free from violence, crime, and bullying.  Several state agencies are working to help prevent school violence and provide all children and youth with a safe place to learn and grow.

    The Colorado School Safety Resource Center is the state’s main agency for all matters of school safety.  They have published numerous resources on school violence prevention including

    The University of Colorado’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) administers programs such as Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, which provides resources about evidence-based programs to prevent bullying, violence and delinquency, youth substance abuse, aggressive behavior, and more.  Publications from the CSPV include

    The Colorado Attorney General’s Office provides victim assistance resources and guidance on violence and disciplinary issues.  See their Colorado School Violence Prevention and Student Discipline Manual for more information.

    The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Prevention Services Division has a Violence and Injury Prevention Program with a number of resources geared toward children and youth.  They have also developed a new Positive Youth Development Tool.  See also their report Bold Steps Toward Child and Adolescent Health:  A Plan for Youth Violence Prevention in Colorado.

    The Colorado Department of Education has also published several resources on school violence prevention, such as 

    Safe2Tell is a state-funded program that provides a hotline for students to anonymously report school safety issues and concerns, not limited to violence but also concerning substance abuse, suicide, and more.  Their tagline is “anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family, or your community.”  Their website also includes resources for students, families, and communities.

    State reports on specific incidents include

    Finally, for more resources and links see our library’s Quick Guide to Safe Schools and Youth Violence Prevention; you can also search our web catalog. 

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    New Report on Heroin Use in Colorado

    Today the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and several partner agencies released a new report on heroin use in Colorado.  Heroin in Colorado:  Preliminary Assessment is the product of the Heroin Response Work Group, which includes the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office, and other partners in addition to CDPHE.  The need for the report comes from a recent spike in heroin use and overdoses in Colorado, according to CDPHE’s press release.

    While this report is, according to CDPHE, the first ever State of Colorado report specific to heroin, we do have in our library other reports on drug use in Colorado that can provide additional statistics on heroin and overall drug use in the state.  These resources include

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    Colorado Missing Persons Day

    Today has officially been declared Colorado Missing Persons Day.  If you are looking for statistics on missing persons in Colorado, our library can help. 

    • The Colorado Bureau of Investigation publishes an annual report on missing children.  Our library has issues from 1985 to the present on our website.
    • CBI has also put together a list of Colorado’s missing persons and how many years they have been missing.
    • CBI’s annual report also contains missing person statistics. You can find reports back to 2011 online via our library.
    • Crime in Colorado is a CBI website containing crime statistics for each year.  
    • Finally, the CBI’s Cold Case Database “features unsolved homicides, missing person, and unidentified person cases.”  The files include photographs, physical descriptions, and “last seen” information on each person.
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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Campus Security Reports

    The Clery Act is a federal law passed in 1990 that requires campuses to collect and report campus crime and safety data.  Here’s where you can find the reports published by Colorado’s state-funded colleges and universities:

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Prison Populations

    How much has Colorado’s prison population grown in 40 years?  As of July 31, there are 17,497 inmates in Colorado public and private prisons.  This is quite an increase from 1976, when the incarcerated population was 2,260!  This info is detailed in a 1978 report from the Department of Corrections, which analyzed how prison population projections are made.  You can find inmate population statistics in a number of publications from our library from the 1970s to the present. Search the keyword terms “corrections and population” in our library’s web catalog to find older information.  For current statistics, see the Department of Corrections’ Departmental Reports and Statistics webpage.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Offender Database and Information

    Did you know that you can search a database for information on Colorado corrections inmates?  On the Department of Corrections’ Offender Search website, you can search by name and/or their correctional number.  Search results will include the offender’s name, age, corrections number, mugshot, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, eye color, hair color, parole/release/discharge dates as applicable, and list of current convictions.

    If you are looking to contact an offender, the Department of Corrections website tells you how.  Contact can be made via email, telephone, or U.S. Mail.  The department’s website also gives information on how to wire money to an offender.  If you or a family member are victims of a crime, you can find victim services information on their website as well.

    For statistical and other information on offenders in Colorado, see Departmental Reports and Statistics on the department’s website, or search our library’s online catalog.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    The Cost of Corrections in Colorado

    How much does it cost to keep an inmate in a Colorado correctional facility each day?  The answers — contained in a Colorado Department of Corrections publication Cost Per Offender by Facilitymay surprise you.  Currently, the cost of housing a single inmate ranges between $53 and $224 per day, depending on the level of security at the facility.  This amounts to a cost of anywhere from $19,000 to $81,000 per inmate per year.  The costliest facility in Colorado is San Carlos; the least expensive are the community corrections programs.  A comparison with the numbers from ten years ago shows a sharp rise in costs, from around $3,000 per inmate per year/$10 per inmate per day for community corrections to about $61,000 per inmate per year/$167 per inmate per day for San Carlos.

    This annual publication offers a basic summary; for more in-depth information on Colorado’s correctional populations see the DOC’s annual Statistical ReportFor budgetary information, see the DOC’s annual Budget Request.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Crime Statistics

    Each year the Colorado Bureau of Investigation publishes a report on their website, Crime in Colorado, with statistics on crime for the past year.  The reports are interactive rather than book-form, to make searching for specific stats easier.  Each year’s report is archived online so that researchers can go back and compare statistics from year to year.  Among the statistics included in these reports are crime trends, arrests, and statistics by type of crime (homicide, theft, arson, etc.)

    The Colorado Department of Public Safety’s Office of Research and Statistics also publishes crime statistics on their website.  This site illustrates with graphs such information as arrests/crimes based on total population; county and statewide crime rates; arrest rates; and incarceration statistics. Criminal justice agencies such as law enforcement agencies and district attorneys can also obtain up-to-date statistics by contacting the CBI’s Colorado Crime Information Center.

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    Underage Drinking

    The Colorado Department of Revenue has released a new website/app, the State of Colorado Underage Drinking Enforcement Website.  This site provides statistical information on minors in possession.  On the site, you can look up the number of tickets issued for underage drinking by Colorado region and check whether local establishments have been issued citations for serving alcohol to minors.  You can also use the site to submit an anonymous tip. 

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    SB14-002: Safe2Tell Program

    SB14-002, regarding the Safe2Tell program, is making its way through the Legislature.  Safe2Tell is a service which teens can use to anonymously report threats to themselves, their school, or someone they know.  Currently a 501c3 nonprofit, the Senate Bill will make the program part of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and provide approximately $277,000 in state funding.  For more on Safe2Tell, click here.

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    Colorado State Publications Blog

    Human Trafficking

    One of the hot topics at the Legislature this year is human trafficking, and in fact, yesterday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Capitol.  According to the Senate Joint Resolution that was considered yesterday, human trafficking is the “fastest growing criminal industry in the world” and “approximately 27 million adults and children worldwide are trafficked across international borders and forced into labor and sexual exploitation.”  It’s an uncomfortable topic, but an important one in our society today.  The Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice has recently issued a new report, Human Trafficking and Slavery, which was prepared in response to last year’s HB13-1195.  New legislation is also being considered this year; see HB14-1273, which has recently been introduced in the House and will be heard in the Judiciary Committee.

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    Colorado Dept. of Corrections Releases New Statistical Report

    The Colorado Dept. of Corrections has just released a new statistical report, which includes information on prison population, crime rates, security, admissions and releases, parole, recidivism, demographics, and more.  The report shows a decline in total prison population but a slight increase in the youthful offender population.  The data in the report is shown both visually in graphs and also numerically, so that it is easy to search for the information you need.  With the media’s recent focus on Colorado corrections, particularly in regards to parole, this is a valuable resource for all kinds of data on Colorado’s incarcerated population.