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.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Son Moved to Oklahoma

reprinted from the Denver Post Letters to the Editor

Importance of visits for inmate rehabilitation

In December, I found out my son, a Colorado inmate since 2000, was moved to Oklahoma in a plan to help our financially strapped prison system. We had no prior notice. It doesn't seem possible that a problem-free inmate like my son could be moved, especially since he's been getting visits from friends and family every other weekend, but now it's a reality for us: 18-hour drive, hotel room, three-day weekend, one-day visit.

Statistics show 90 percent of all inmates in Colorado never get a visit, ever. Statistics also show a connection to family and friends is one of the most important factors in keeping released prisoners from reoffending. Released prisoners can become productive members of society, or they can reoffend and be a drain on society's pocketbook. The problem with our system is we take people who commit crimes, and instead of meting out the punishment they've earned, or even trying to rehabilitate them, we add a bit of bile, creating bitter people who can't function in society and end up back on the taxpayer's dole, which is running dry.

My son has a chance to be rehabilitated, and yet if our system insists on treating him like he's less than human, he may just act that way.

Tracy Masuga, Aurora


Anonymous said...

My son has recently been transferred to Oklahoma as well. He made a serious mistake, but he was a first time offender on a non-violent crime. He was doing everything he could to show that he wanted to turn his life around, and his reward is to be taken away from the family support he had. Tell me how this is at all connected to rehab or correction?
K Sanders

Anonymous said...

My brother was also transfered to NFCF in December, with no warning. He was a first time offender and has never caused any trouble while incarcerated. Now his once or twice a month visits have turned into two to three times per year visits!