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.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Price We Pay

Gang activity is increasing in Colorado, and I didn't need the recent coverage of local violence to know about it. My 16-year old daughter keeps me up-to-date. There are places she doesn't want to go because "the kids that hang out there are all involved in gangs and drugs, and that's all they want to talk about."

I believe that when we as a community stop funding the programs that give our kids something to do, someone will find something for them to do. The recruiters on the street offer them lucrative, dangerous jobs and give them a sense of belonging to something.

Putting them in jail is NOT the answer. That's just the fast track to filling up our prisons. Addressing the issues are. What's going in their lives, their families and their neighborhoods? We need to be thoughtful and not reactionary in our response. When we drop the ball, and pay more attention to funding the building of prisons then community centers, school programs and job opportunities, we will get exactly what we pay for.

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