Criminal Justice, Denver

Parolee accused of murder held up as model of reform by DOC management

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson

The Denver District Attorney’s office has charged Calvin Johnson, 44, of first degree murder for the New Year’s Day death of Teodora Leon III.

The probable cause affidavit released by the Denver DA discloses that Johnson was on parole from the Department of Corrections (DOC), and was living in a tent in areas near 10th Avenue and Lincoln and Broadway.

The Department of Corrections has confirmed to Complete Colorado that Johnson was recently held up by Colorado Department of Corrections Deputy Director of Parole Alison Morgan as an example of how parolees can be transitioned from prison back into society. At a Joint Judiciary Committee meeting on December 16th, Morgan told members of the committee:

I’d like to tell you briefly about a, a parolee that, um, has some significant mental health issues. He, uh, was acting out. He was threatening staff. He, uh, he has coped through his time in prison and on parole by threatening and being aggressive. And his thought was to do this again to hopefully um be revoked because he didn’t want to be accountable and he didn’t want to be on parole. And our community-based organizations came together and the parole officer came together, uh, the mental health specialist, and we all sat down. And we came up with a plan to, to really challenge this parolee to try. And we, um, we each pooled a little bit of money and commitment to, to work with this parolee to launch him to be successful. Um, he didn’t completely like the idea of the plan we put together for him and he tried to play us off of each other. And we all came back together again and said yeah it’s not to work that way. And ultimately he chose to, um, actually buy a tent, and he’s living in the alley behind our Lincoln Street parole office, but he’s figuring it out on his own. But it was a tremendous collaboration between parole, mental health, and the community-based organizations. And, and that’s how all of this is working, really very successfully.

Listen to the audio here:

The parole department has had notable morale problems ever since the murder of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements in 2013 by a parolee, Evan Ebel.

As Complete Colorado reported in March of 2015, the DOC suffered the loss of their parole director who did not last one year on the job.

In June, the union of state employees tried to harvest dissatisfaction among parole officers after an incident where a parole officer was shot at in Aurora.

In November, we noted that drug use by parolees has been on a steady, four-year climb.

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Correction: Based on early press releases from the Denver Police Department and Denver District Attorney, the first edition of this article incorrectly identified the victim of the alleged murder as Leon Teodora. The victim’s name is Teodoro Leon III.


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