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, April 25, 2007

The Cost of Private Prisons

Colorado currently has 480 people who have been transferred to Oklahoma in a move to reduce overcrowding in our prisons. The issue is explosive as Oklahoma may be preparing to take on people from other states as well. The riot at Crowley should have taught us this lesson of the danger of importing human beings like commodities. We have heard from prisoners and their families that the stress level is already high there.

With GEO and Cornell both hovering over the state in a an effort to build private prisons here, we have to assess the necessity for new prisons when efforts to reduce the recidivism rate would give us a much better rate of return. Building re-entry centers closer to communities where people live and work would allow us to address the issues that have simply been ignored, overlooked, or underfunded. We need to be creative and willing to work harder to re-integrate people back into their lives or else we will never get out of the spiral of recidivism.

Indiana Riot: The Cost of Importing People

signed an agreement last month to house Arizona prisoners at the privately managed prison in New Castle. The first 104 prisoners arrived March 12; 1,200 were expected altogether. About 600 have arrived so far.

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