Members of a state board that writes the rules for how Colorado sex offenders are supervised voted on policy revisions that benefited their firms, which held state contracts worth millions of dollars annually, according to a scathing performance audit the state auditor released Tuesday.
The audit further found that most of the standards the Sex Offender Management Board has set do not reference supporting evidence, as required by state statute. The board also failed to verify the qualifications and credentials of applicants it sanctioned to treat sex offenders and did not adequately investigate complaints lodged against treatment providers, the audit reported.
The board is responsible for developing standards for treating and managing Colorado’s 24,000 registered sex offenders. Those standards have prompted sharp criticism in recent years, with civil rights advocates and a bipartisan cross-section of legislators arguing they shouldn’t require low-level sex offenders to keep taking polygraphs and shouldn’t be used to bar even young juvenile offenders from living with their siblings.