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.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

America's War On Drugs and The 25 Year Quagmire

No issue has had more impact on the criminal justice system in the
past three decades than national drug policy. The “war on drugs,”
officially declared in the early 1980s, has been a primary
contributor to the enormous growth of the prison system in the United States
during the last quarter-century and has affected all aspects of the criminal
justice system and, consequently, American society. As a response to the
problem of drug abuse, national drug policies have emphasized punishment
over treatment, and in a manner that has had a disproportionate impact on
low-income minority communities. After millions of people arrested and
incarcerated, it is clear that the “war on drugs” has reshaped the way America
responds to crime and ushered in an era of instability and mistrust in
countless communities.
By the mid-1990s, the climate regarding drug policy in the United States had
shifted somewhat, reflecting a growing frustration with the “lock ‘em up”
strategy to addressing drug abuse and growing support for the treatment
model of combating drug abuse. The result was the proliferation of drug
courts and other alternative sentencing strategies that sought to divert low level
drug offenders from prison into community-based treatment programs.
Despite the expansion of these options over the last decade, the punitive
sentencing provisions of the 1980s remain in effect across the United States,
resulting in a record number of arrests, convictions, and sentences to prison
for drug offenses.

Read the Report at The Sentencing Project

1 comment:

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