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.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Poisonous Police Behavior -NY TIMES

...and we wonder why kids don't trust police.

You most likely have no idea of the abusive treatment that students and teachers at many of New York City’s public schools are enduring at the hands of overly aggressive police officers and security aides assigned to the schools.

Students are being belittled, shouted at, cursed at, intrusively searched and improperly touched by cops and security aides who answer to the Police Department, not school authorities. In many cases, the students are roughed up, handcuffed, arrested and taken off to jail for behavior that does not even begin to approach the criminal. Teachers and administrators who have attempted to intervene on the behalf of students have themselves been abused, and in some cases arrested.

This poisonous police behavior is an extension into the schools of the humiliating treatment cops have long been doling out to youngsters — especially those who are black or Latino — on the city’s streets.

In January, a 15-year-old girl at Samuel J. Tilden High School** in Brooklyn was manhandled for no discernible reason by an armed police sergeant. The sergeant had grabbed her book bag and ordered her into a school detention room. When the girl replied, “That’s where I’m going,” the sergeant is alleged to have pushed her. The girl then said she was going to take down his name and badge number.

When she said that, according to a new study of police practices in the public schools by the American Civil Liberties Union, the sergeant jerked the girl’s left arm behind her back at a painful angle. The girl’s right hand slammed against a wall and she began to cry.

Students inside the room cried out in protest, but to no avail. The girl was taken to the police station and given a summons. That night the school’s assistant principal called the girl’s home and apologized to her mother for the incident.


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