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.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Colorado Prisons Outpace Libya

Myths have a way of hiding what we don’t want to see.

Americans, for example, are quick to charge third world dictators with abusive prison policies. But prison incarceration rates tell a different story. Reports show that 45 of the 50 democratically elected state governments in the United States, including Colorado, imprison their residents at a faster pace than any of the foreign governments headed by dictators.

Rulers in Libya, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan made Parade Magazine’s 2005 world’s worst dictators list. And the Oakland, Calif.-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency has issued a report, U.S. Rates of Incarceration: A Global Perspective, which shows the incarceration rates for these five dictatorships — the number of persons in prison for every 100,000 population — ranging from a low of 57 in Pakistan to a high of 207 in Libya.

By comparison, prison policies made in Denver locked up 457 state residents for every 100,000 population in 2005. In other words, Colorado imprisons its people at a rate more than two times faster than Muammar al-Qaddafi’s Libya and eight times faster than Pakistan under Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

If inmates held in local jails in Colorado were added in, the spread would be even wider.

Only five states — Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Minnesota and North Dakota — have prison incarceration rates less harsh than Libya’s. All other states enforce prison policies that put dictators around the world to shame, including more than 600 inmates per 100,000 population in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

Read the Article Here

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