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 23, 2007

Second Chance Act - HR 1593

HR 1593
“[Formerly incarcerated individuals] are ill-prepared in leading a law-abiding life. It is not surprising they are re-arrested within three years of their release,” said Rep. Scott. “This is a compelling issue; one that we have worked on in a bi-partisan way. Hopefully we can get this bill passed into a law ASAP.”

The Second Chance Act reauthorizes the grant program targeting people returning to the community after prison in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. It improves reentry planning and implementation, and creates mentorship programs. The bill would authorize about $100 million over two years to provide states with grants to develop model programs for currently and formerly incarcerated persons in the areas of housing, drug treatment, mental-health counseling, job training and education.

“We can no longer release prisoners with new clothes and a five dollar bill, and expect them to become good citizens,” said Rep. Forbes during the hearing.
“They don't know what they're doing when it comes to recidivism,” Cowley, a former prison warden said of wardens and parole officers. He suggested that prison administrators' jobs should be held accountable if recidivism rates do not decrease. He added that without the passage of the Second Chance Act, successful re-entry “won't be done the way it needs to be.”

“You've started something, quite frankly, that needs to be finished,” he told the Committee. “If it isn't done, the message goes out [to prison administrators] ‘if they really don't care, why should we bother anymore.' Second Chance is a shot in the arm for the system, for victims, administration. We're just waiting for the resources.”

Peters' testimony focused on the impact of drug disorders within the criminal justice system.

“Treatment has been found to consistently reduce criminal recidivism, drug use, family violence, unemployment, and welfare dependence among criminal justice populations. Substance abuse treatment reduces drug use by about half, reduces crime by up to 80%, reduces arrests up to 64%, and increases employment by 40%. Treatment is also effective across different criminal justice settings, including prisons, jails, work release centers, day reporting centers, and drug courts,” stated Peters in his written testimony.
Sentencing Project


Anonymous said...

Your support for the 2007 Second Chance Act is great. This bill will provide much-needed relief to both our country and ex-offenders. It is reported that some 6.5 million Americans in one fashion, or another, will emerge sometime this year with a criminal record, spilling out into society without the tools to survive. As Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) recently stated on the floor of Congress, our criminal system and societal pressures literally drive many of these newly-released ex-offenders back into prison because they can't get work and they are rejected by society. We at The Rehabilitated Project (http://www.rehabilitated.org) will work closely with you on HR 1593 and, also, Charlie Rangel's bill HR 623 which provides relief to a federal ex-offender who has been found rehabilitated by a federal judge using a clear and convincing burden of proof. Ideally, HR 1593 and HR 623 should be joined and perhaps that should be our highest goal for 2007. Come and visit us at www.rehabilitated.org and I think you'll see our goals match those of everyone else who is working for passage of HR 1623.

Charles Benninghoff
Founder & Trustee
The Rehabilitated Project

Anonymous said...

Does this project in any way
include verichips?