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.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

One Year Out - Urban Institute Report

What do we know about people being released? What are their struggles and why do so many go back? The Urban Institute released this report after a three year study of people in Ohio who had been released from prison.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2007 -- The final report in an Urban Institute research series on men leaving Ohio prisons details the first year of their release, offering an overview of their postprison lives and a slate of policy options that could smooth reentry.

"One Year Out: Experiences of Prisoners Returning to Cleveland (pdf)," by Christy A. Visher and Shannon M.E. Courtney, affords a first-hand look at the challenges of prisoner reentry through interviews with nearly 300 former prisoners who returned to the Cleveland area.

Among the policy recommendations for ex-prisoners:
-- Services that enable former prisoners to secure positive and stable housing immediately after release.
-- Substantial assistance in finding and maintaining both employment and substance abuse treatment.
-- Programs that involve families in prisoners' reintegration.
-- Partner visitation during incarceration and marriage support services after release.

"The study's findings point to important policy opportunities for change—both in prison and in the community—that would reduce recidivism, reduce illegal drug use, and increase public safety in Cleveland's neighborhoods," said Visher."Many of these policy changes are not expensive."


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