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 12, 2007

Update on Prisoners and Farms

U.S. Highway 50 narrows a dozen miles east of Pueblo, yielding to pea-green and brown farmland, family-owned tracts that bear southern Colorado's peppers, tomatoes, melons and sweet corn.

Every year, hundreds of migrant workers travel here from Mexico and Central America to help with the harvest. But last fall, farmers along U.S. 50 noticed a dropoff in their workforce. Dozens of acres went unmowed, and produce spoiled in the fields.

Though no one can say just how many migrants left Colorado and didn't come back, most farmers convey the reason for their leaving with a degree of certainty.

"Colorado told them, "You are not welcome here,'" says Phil Prutch, a 56-year-old farmer who owns the Peppers Plus produce store.

But Prutch's shrinking workforce might soon get a boost. Last week, he sat on the tailgate of his scratched white pickup, wearing red suspenders and Wrangler jeans. He tossed a pumpkin-seed catalog in the truck bed behind him as he described a new field team, scheduled to arrive at Pueblo County's farms in less than two months.


Colorado Springs Independent

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