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, March 24, 2007

Prison Guards - Not a Good Job

Mandatory sentencing laws, and less time off for good behavior, reduce leverage that guards need to control prisoners.

Now these men and women, who face growing numbers of inmates in some of the nation's toughest federal and state prisons, say they're increasingly overwhelmed.

Yet research suggests a staggering downside. Correctional officers' life expectancy hovers around 59 years, compared with 77 for the U.S. population overall, according to insurance data.

Prison jobs promise a comfortable retirement, "but many of these guys don't live long after they retire," said Dr. Gary Mohr in CaƱon City, who has treated guards who had heart attacks.

Their work forces guards "to put up a shield," Mohr said. "It's hard to take that shield off when you go home. It's hard to open up to the wife and kids."

Correctional officers, he said, "are doing time too. ... A lot of them are not able to detach. ... Alcohol problems. Domestic violence. They have a propensity. The very things they are supposed to be against, they end up doing.

"You can't just wash it off like in a shower."

Denver Post

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