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 28, 2007

Sentencing Commission Bill Introduced

Rep. Terrance Carroll and Senator Ken Gordon introduced their Sentencing Commission Bill today. The language of the mission addresses the need to reduce recidivism which follows what Gov. Bill Ritter and D.O.C. Executive Director Ari Zavaras have been saying for the past few months. This certainly isn't the answer to our immediate problem of reducing the prison population but it may have some strong effects down the road.

HB 1358.

Excerpted from the Bill

States that the mission of the commission is to enhance public
safety, ensure justice, and protect the rights of victims through the
cost-effective use of public resources. Requires the commission to:
Conduct an empirical analysis of and collect evidence-based data on sentencing policies and practices; Investigate effective alternatives to incarceration, the
factors contributing to recidivism, evidence-based
recidivism reduction initiatives, and cost-effective crime
prevention programs;

Make an annual report of findings and recommendations,
including evidence-based analysis and data;
Study and evaluate the outcomes of commission
recommendations as implemented;
Conduct studies and make recommendations concerning
policies and practices in the criminal justice system.

Prioritize areas of study based on the potential impact on
crime and corrections and the resources available for
conducting the work; and work with other state-established boards, task forces, or
commissions that study or address criminal justice issues.

Directs the commission to create advisory committees that will
study and report findings on issues the commission is considering.
Requires the division of criminal justice in the department of public
safety to provide staff assistance to the commission. Permits the
acceptance of gifts, grants, and donations for the operation of the
commission, and creates a cash fund for the receipt of those moneys.
Repeals the act on July 1, 2013.

Full Bill Here

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