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.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Higher Ed Needs Help

As prisons eat up our education budget...

Colorado Springs - College presidents and state budget leaders pitched a batch of radical funding options Saturday to bail out cash-starved higher education - a new sales tax, diverted lottery money or a complete rewrite of constitutional tax policy.

At an unprecedented two-day funding summit, higher-education leaders said they were happy to get personal attention from Gov. Bill Ritter.

The rare presence of a governor at two days of brainstorming with college officials fueled the notion that the political climate is right for higher education to make its move.

From community colleges to research universities, Colorado would need $832 million more each year to meet the average funding of national peers, according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The shortfall includes tuition as well as state general-fund money.

"We know we're in a hole," Ritter said.

College leaders agreed to settle on a unified plan by the fall before hitting up voters and lawmakers.

"We don't have a prayer of getting this changed unless we are united," University of Colorado president Hank Brown said.

The state's higher-education department plans to set up a task force to sort out a funding plan within the next few months.

It's likely any new funding plan for higher education would end up on the ballot.

The Denver Post