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.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Drug Court Progressing

Biggest obstacles to installing drug court is money and treatment options, committee says

By Joshua Roberts, Daily Press writer

Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District, recently presided over a criminal court case in which a Craig woman was found guilty of selling methamphetamine and child abuse because she sold the narcotic with her son in the room.

The woman faces up to 16 years in prison.

"It's those sort of cases we can make a difference in with a drug court," O'Hara said at Thursday night's Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse public forum at Craig City Hall.

The drug court is Moffat County's proposed response to the meth problem.

The drug court is a rigid treatment program that gives convicted users an alternative to a prison sentence. It is a collaborative effort between the court, law enforcement and treatment providers.

Although the tentative March 1 date for implementing the drug court has passed, Judge O'Hara said a committee of officials working on the drug court has not wavered in its intention to implement the program in Moffat County.

"We're close," O'Hara said to the 50 to 60 people attending the meeting. "We're sort of on the cusp. ... It is going to happen."

The drug court program would require 18 months of voluntary participation. Users involved would have to complete four phases, O'Hara said. The program would require a participant's acquiescence to random drug tests, home and vehicle searches, regular meetings with the court, probation officers and therapy sessions, among numerous other provisions.

O'Hara said the drug court committee has not established a new timeline for when the drug court would be installed, but the committee hopes to do so in the near future.

The drug court's biggest obstacle, the judge said, is money and local treatment options.

Craig Daily Press

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