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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

No Prison, So What's Next For Ault?

Greeley Tribune Editorial -- There's nothing like a missed opportunity -- at least from which to learn. That's how we feel about the latest news that the state Department of

Corrections has rescinded its offer to the GEO Group to build a private prison in Ault.

The idea had merit, and we're sorry to see the plan go away. But, we're also glad state officials had the wherewithal to put a stop to discussions with a company that was drawing some questions on its operations and tactics.

We liked the idea of a prison because it's a clean industry; it would have provided jobs and commerce, in short, another economic engine for northern Colorado.

This, however, could just be the beginning of interest in Ault, where land prices will make it more attractive for Greeley and Fort Collins residents to relocate, as well as potential businesses that would follow suit. Just because this town ducked the growth spurt the rest of Weld County has seen in the last decade, there's nothing to say that that will continue.

If the GEO Group -- a global, public company -- showed interest in Ault, imagine what's next.

This Weld town is at an interesting intersection: at the corner of traffic that commutes from Greeley to Fort Collins, on the U.S. 85 and Colo. 14 corridor, which remains a major transportation system in northern Colorado, and its residents and town board are willing to grow.

Here comes the opportunity.

For Ault's town board, here's the chance to ensure that land zoning assures proper and smart growth in your community. We know the town is desperate for revenue, and the prison would have afforded as much for the community to make some major improvements.

We've also heard that Ault is considering teaming with Upstate Colorado Economic Development, which could put the town in touch with several nationwide business looking to relocate. That's a good move that could bring several types of industry to this town.

For residents who fought so diligently to keep the prison from their backyards, here's your chance to have a say in what lies ahead. Don't sit back and relax. Ault residents felt disenfranchised when they learned of the prison proposal after the town board signed a letter agreeing to the concept of putting a prison in their town.

Greeley Tribune

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