Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Denver Post Letters to the Editor

State prison system bursting at the seams
"Legal limit" and "Crammed state jails will 'pop,"' Jan. 28 and 29 news stories.

Colorado's Department of Corrections has a 49.2 percent rate of recidivism, according to The Post. A nearly 50 percent rate of failure is 100 percent unacceptable.

The DOC actively discourages rehabilitation and courts recidivism by sending inmates who have behaved well and followed the rules to private prisons in places like Oklahoma. Such moves separate prisoners from both their families and the few programs Colorado does provide for rehabilitation, like the helper dog training program that has had remarkable success in teaching prisoners the pro-social lessons they need to stay out of prison in the future....

Ann Aber, Boulder

....We are sending prisoners to Oklahoma's private prison industry complex because "at this point we don't have any option"? Private prisons in Oklahoma are willing to take Colorado's inmates for $54 a day, but only the best-behaved. The others stay in Colorado. We are paying $19,710 per person, which, at 720 inmates, equals $14.1 million and some change. And this is our only option?

In addition, only the best-behaved prisoners are sent. We are shipping out those who are doing their time in the manner we would hope. We are punishing them for conforming to the rules we have placed on them.

More money for Oklahoma's private prison industry complex and less promise and hope for Colorado; this cannot be the promise for Colorado the governor is envisioning.

G.L. Tyler, Denver

Read the Letters here...

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