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, May 24, 2007

Sentencing Commission Bill Signed

Governor Ritter signed 15 bills into law today including one that begins the implementation of a sentencing commission in Colorado. The Commission will be comprised of 26 people who are mostly from government positions. There are three at large positions that will allow the possibility of community representation in the overall committee. HB 1107 which would allow people to have their records sealed after ten years has not been signed yet.

The Denver Post ....Ritter also said he hoped the state would become a "national leader" with the creation of a Criminal Justice Commission that will take an ongoing look at sentencing guidelines.

Ritter presided over a noisy, 1 1/2-hour event in the Capitol's west foyer. With each bill, Ritter ushered a bill sponsor to the microphone to give remarks.

The education reform bills that were signed call for better data collection to measure school performance and to monitor online schools.

Rep. Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, called Senate Bill 215, which regulates online schools, the "Kumbaya bill of the year" because it survived a contentious debate.

The criminal justice bills establish the commission and close a loophole in current law related to sex crimes by licensed professionals. In the future, the state's professional licensing panels will refer matters to criminal prosecutors.

Jim Scarboro, a lawyer who is part of the nonprofit Colorado Lawyers Committee, said efforts to revamp prison sentences are "dear to the governor's heart."

The Denver Post

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