DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s top judge says the judicial branch is doing a better job keeping people out of jail.

Chief Justice Michael Bender told lawmakers in a scheduled address Friday that the judicial branch is saving money with innovative probation and parole methods. Bender said the changes mean fewer convicts have to return to jail because of minor infractions.

Bender asked lawmakers to give the branch’s 3,500 or so employees a raise. They haven’t seen a pay hike in four years.

Bender thanked lawmakers for paying to build a new judicial center for the state Supreme Court and other courts. The new building opens Monday.

It was Bender’s final State of the Judiciary address. The law requires him to retire next year, when he turns 72.

LINK: Online

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