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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Disenfranchised For Life

This is a good article on the disenfranchisement of people who have felony records.

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, lawmakers who opposed African American voting rights desperately considered ways to remove large numbers of Blacks from their state’s electorates without appearing to violate their constitutional rights.

In the 1960s, many southern and some western states figured out how to accomplish this: to pass state constitutional provisions, or state laws, barring individuals convicted of a felony from voting for the remainder of their lives. Since African Americans were disproportionately prosecuted and convicted of felonies in most state courts, the loss of voting rights would hit Blacks hardest.

This racist scheme – using the criminal justice system not to “rehabilitate” prisoners, but to strip them of their democratic voting rights for life – was successful. In 1968, Florida barred ex-offenders from voting for life. By 2000, approximately 818,000 Florida residents who had prior felony convictions, but who were no longer incarcerated, were disenfranchised.

Black Star News

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