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 28, 2007

Parent in Prison - Void At Home

CHICAGO, May 27 -- When 12-year-old Heaven Carr wakes up, her mother is not
there to make her breakfast. As the school year ends, Heaven is already sad that
her mother will not be around to do the back-to-school shopping come
Carr's mother, Elaine, has been behind bars for five years. Her
father, Shaun, who was once jailed himself, does his best to pick up the slack,
even as he runs a home remodeling business during the day and a cleaning service
at night. But Heaven says it's not the same.
"There are no services for men
in this position -- none," Shaun said. "You'd think that if a man decides to
stay with his kids, people would embrace you and help you pull through. But it's
the opposite."
The stakes are high for Heaven and her three siblings. Those
who deal regularly with the incarcerated suggest that 50 to 70 percent of
children of imprisoned parents will end up behind bars. Such children are also
less likely to do well in school, a growing body of research suggests.
In the Chicago area, where there are an estimated 90,000 children of the
imprisoned and paroled, a fledgling coalition of community groups and state
politicians is developing strategies to create better lines of communication
between children and their jailed parents, and to diminish the severe shortage
of help.
The Chicago-based Community Renewal Society is working with
legislators and state officials to expand family-oriented programs, to be run by
nonprofits, in prisons.

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