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, March 14, 2007

How's Casey Doin' on Parole?

Here's the fifth installment of Westword's story about Casey Holden. He is trying hard to do the things that he needs to do to keep everyone happy.

Locked down for years, Casey Holden hardly ever talked to anyone. He lived inside his head because there was no one around but the guards, and they were, well, guards. His social skills, never elaborate to begin with, devolved into a series of grunts and cold stares.

Now Holden is 26 and on the streets, with three years of parole to complete —a journey he’s agreed to let us follow in a series of blogs (previous installments can be found here ). And he’s finding out that doing what the authorities expect of him and carving out a life for himself aren’t entirely incompatible pursuits.

Holden’s been out for more than two months now. That’s longer than a lot of parolees last; the staggering failure rate of parole in Colorado is the chief force driving the prison boom, as detailed in our article “Over and Over Again.” He’s holding down a job, going to school, passing his drug tests, paying his restitution, showing up for his appointments with his parole officer — and getting an occasional glimpse of what his life might be down the line, once he’s out of the system for good.

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