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 08, 2007

When Parents Go to Prison So Do the Kids

This is a story out of Washington state. It could easily have been written in Colorado since the numbers are comparable. The War on Drugs has decimated families when prison is the cure for addiction. Research has shown that daughters of women in prison are the most likely to go to prison themselves and children of prisoners are seven times more likely to end up than other kids.

Britney's life changed forever the day her mother was arrested on drug-related charges in Snohomish County.

She was 8 and the news erased any sense of normalcy and certainty she might hope for while growing up. She spent four years living with different family members, relocating several times between Everett and Nevada.

Eventually, Britney was taken in by an ex-landlord of one of her family members, Diane, with whom she had become close.

"If it weren't for Diane, I honestly don't know where I would be right now," says Britney, now 16.

Even with a place to stay, other factors of Britney's life would never be the same. Her younger half-brother, whom she had cared for while their mother battled her drug addiction, was sent to live with his father in Tennessee.

For years, she carried the social burdens of shame and embarrassment stemming from her mother's arrest, feelings that she had difficulty expressing to peers and counselors, who she says did not understand her.

Herald Net Article

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