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, April 14, 2007

Barriers to Reintegration

Here's an interesting study that was done in Michigan on one of the barriers to reintegration. Not being able to drive is keeping those who have done time from getting gainful employment. It is also an issue in Colorado. One of the conditions of parole and/or being at a halfway house is that you are not able to drive.

The number of people released from prison each year into Milwaukee County has increased nearly four-fold since 1993, and this population faces severe barriers to getting and keeping jobs, a new report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Employment and Training Institute has found.

The numbers disproportionately affect young African-American males. Some 40% of those ages 25 to 29 have served time in prison, the report finds.

"That's the work force of Milwaukee," said the study's author, John Pawasarat.

The UWM study, to be released today, focuses on one obstacle to employment that faces the majority of former inmates: the lack of a valid driver's license. Many felons have had their licenses suspended or revoked - more often because of failure to pay fines or drug offenses rather than because of serious driving violations, Pawasarat said.

Of the estimated 26,772 adults in Milwaukee County who have done prison time, 62% have driver's license suspension problems, the report found. That can be a major obstacle in finding employment.

Real Cost of Prisons

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