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.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

SPEAKOUT -- SB 83 Parolee Voting

The Rocky Mountain News printed this column from Cathy Hazouri, Executive Director of the ACLU on the benefits of SB 83.

By Cathy Hazouri, Colorado American Civil Liberties Union

The legislature is considering Senate Bill 83, an election reform bill that includes an amendment to extend voting rights for parolees. Parolee voting isn't about making things easier or better for criminals. It is about preventing crime.

The natural reaction of most law-abiding citizens is to automatically reject the idea of parolee voting. We want those people to pay dearly for the crimes they have committed, and denying voting rights to parolees sounds just fine to many of us. But does our lust for retribution outweigh our interest in cultivating civic and social responsibility - known factors for preventing crime - among prisoners returning to society?

At some point, when prisoners have served their time, they are going to return to society and live among us in the community. So we must decide how best to reintegrate people with criminal convictions so that they become productive citizens who actively reject a life of crime. Our public safety depends on it.Speakout

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