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, June 11, 2007

Inmates Sue Over Prison Book Bans

NEW YORK -- Inmates at the federal prison camp in Otisville, N.Y., were stunned by what they saw at the chapel library on Memorial Day -- hundreds of books had disappeared from the shelves.

The removal of the books is occurring nationwide, part of a long-delayed, post-Sept. 11, 2001, federal directive intended to prevent radical religious texts, specifically Islamic ones, from falling into the hands of violent inmates.

Three inmates at Otisville filed a lawsuit over the policy, saying their Constitutional rights were violated. They say all religions were affected.

"The set of books that have been taken out have been ones that we used to minister to new converts when they come in here," inmate John Okon, speaking on behalf of the prison's Christian population, told a judge last week.

Okon said it was unfortunate because "I have really seen religion turn around the life of some of these men, especially in the Christian community."

The government maintained that that the new rules don't entirely clear the shelves of prison chapel libraries.Article here