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.

Monday, May 21, 2007

226 Kids In Texas Improperly Sentenced - To Be Released

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The agency that runs the Texas state juvenile prison system said it will release 226 inmates after a review found their sentences were improperly extended.

Advocates for Texas Youth Commission inmates and their families have complained that sentences are often extended inconsistently or in retaliation for filing grievances.

Jay Kimbrough, who is heading an investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the agency's facilities, formed a panel to review the records of nearly all inmates with extended sentences. The six-member panel, which included community activists and prosecutors, reviewed the cases of 1,027 inmates whose sentences were extended.

"For the youth we're releasing, we did not find that the extensions were warranted," agency spokesman Jim Hurley said Friday. "The others will be reviewed on a regular basis."

Hurley said the 226 inmates will be released on parole as soon as guardians can pick them up or they can be transferred to an interim halfway house.

Kimbrough said in March that the panel would review the documentation on each inmate's sentencing extension and discuss whether the decision was just and appropriate, and then refer their recommendation to a retired judge.

The review is one of many ongoing reforms to the state's juvenile system after the disclosure of allegations of sexual abuse of inmates by staff and a possible cover-up by agency officials. The commission incarcerates about 4,700 offenders ages 10 to 21


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