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, August 28, 2007

Supermax Staffing Unsafe

Pueblo Democrat Rep. Buffie McFayden and union officials Tuesday called upon the federal government to fully staff the Supermax prison in Florence, saying employee levels are dangerously low.

Staffing at the Supermax, which has been the scene of disturbances this year involving 60 inmates, has dropped to the point that many shifts and posts are not being covered, said union representatives for federal correction officers during a news conference at the Capitol.

Units that house some of the nation's most notorious terrorist go unsupervised for up to 24 hours in some cases, said McFayden and Mike Schnobrich, president of the prison council with the American Federation of Government Employees.

"It's my understanding that whole housing units have gone unstaffed for eight hours or longer, including the terrorist unit," said McFayden. "I'm calling on President Bush and the Congress to personally take note what's happening at Supermax.

"The problem is causing tensions between correctional officers and inmates. We need to protect our employees and our communities here in Colorado."

Union officials claim staffing levels have dropped from 92 percent at the facility to 75 percent.

The charge comes six months after outgoing U.S. Attorney General Roberto Gonzales toured Supermax in February amid security concerns.

Rocky Mountain News