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, October 15, 2007

CCJRC October Newsletter

"We must remember always that the doors of prisons swing both ways."

Mary Belle Harris, first female federal prison warden in the United States (1936)


News From CCJRC

CCJRC Needs Your Help

Governor Names Appointees To Commission


What's the Buzz?

Denver Has An Election In November

Upcoming Events

CURE

New Foundations - Reducing Recidivism w/ Ari Zavaras

Center For Spirituality At Work

Broken Windows -Baker Neighborhood Meeting

Jena 6

Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

Colorado Progressive Coalition

Colorado Coalition For the Homeless

9 to 5

PeaceJam

Pendulum Foundation

Membership Page


News From CCJRC

!!!!CCJRC NEEDS YOUR HELP!!!!

CCJRC Announces the Upcoming Release of "Getting On After Getting Out"

It's been two years since CCJRC started the research and writing for this parolee reentry guide. The project was led by Carol Peeples and involved the input of over two hundred people. We were fortunate to secure the foundation funding necessary to provide 20,000 copies for free to people who are in prison or on parole. The problem with that is that we have nearly 30,000 people currently involved with the system and we know that admissions will account for nearly 10,000 people in the next year. We also have family members, community groups and system people who are involved with this work that would benefit from this guide. CCJRC has a golden opportunity right now to get an additional 20,000 copies printed at a HUGE discount if we increase the quantity at this time. If we have to reprint later because we need more copies it will cost us, literally, five times as much to print the additional copies we will need.

How can you help?

CCJRC has raised some of the money for these extra copies but we still need to raise $15,000 by the first week of November.

Right now a donation of any amount will allow us to put the Guide into the hands of so many more that need it in order to make a safe and successful transition back into their community.

Please go to our secure website and make a donation. Any donation received will count as your annual membership donation to CCJRC.

Please click here: CCJRC REENTRY GUIDE DONATION PAGE

The history of this project goes back two years when CCJRC decided to develop a re-entry guide because we were receiving hundreds of requests every year asking for information and help regarding transition issues. We realized just how large a gap existed in the information available to people in prison, their families, prison case managers, parole officers, and community service providers.

Since this project began we have talked to hundreds of people about issues regarding failure and success on parole and the one thing that we discovered was that there is no exact recipe for either. Every person on parole is an individual with their own needs, dreams and problems. Every success and failure story is different in its own right, so there is no exact map to success but there are components that we realized seem to make a difference.

The guide includes the following essential topics and more:

  • Getting Started When You Are Inside
  • Taking Care of Your Child Support
  • Taking Care Of Unresolved Legal Matters
  • The First Days Out
  • Understanding Parole
  • A Roof Over Your Head
  • Finding a Job

We hope to be able to update this edition in the future as changes occur and we will send out an official announcement as soon as the guide is available to be ordered. Once the copies are received at the prisons in November, the DOC will distribute the guides inside and there will copies available at each facility. People on parole can request a copy from their parole officer or if people are in community corrections on inmate status they can contact their parole liasion. Once the re-entry guides are available, you can contact us by phone, email or through our website to order copies. None of this would have been possible without the ongoing commitment and support of our members and coalition partners so thank you all.

Gov. Bill Ritter announced his 12 appointees to the new Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, a 26-member panel established by House Bill 07-1358. This commission is tasked to undertake a comprehensive analysis of Colorado's criminal code, sentencing laws, prevention programs and other aspects of the criminal-justice system. The commission will conduct an evidence-based review, and report annually to the Governor, legislature and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

wHat's tHe BuZz??

Denver Has An Election Coming Up!!
Denver Ballot Issues Pros and Cons
November 6, 2007
Put your ballot in the mail for receipt by November 6th or take it to any of the drop-off sites. For more information call the Denver Election Division at 720-913-VOTE (8683). This election is being conducted by mail, but ballots will only be sent to those registered voters who voted in either the November 2006 or May 2007 elections. If you did not vote in either of those elections, you must contact the Denver Elections Division to request a ballot. If you did vote in one of those elections, but did not receive a ballot, please contact the Clerk at 720-913-8683 and they will send you one.

We strongly encourage you to fill our your ballots and them in. Ballots must be mailed in or dropped off to the clerk by November 6th.
There are two questions on Denver’s ballot.

The following is prepared by the League of Women Voters

Initiated Question 100 addresses the priority of enforcing marijuana laws.

Referred Question 1 has nine parts, each of which will need to be voted on separately. In
Question 1, voters may vote for all, against all, or for some and against others.

Initiated Question 100 – Marijuana Low Priority for Police

Shall the voters for the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance to the Denver Revised Municipal Code that would make the private use and possession of marijuana by persons 21 years of age and older the City’s lowest law-enforcement priority?
Denver voters approved Initiative 100 in November 2005, amending city ordinances to remove all penalties for private adult marijuana use and possession.

Those in favor say:
· City officials have chosen to ignore the will of the citizens when they passed Initiative 100.
· Denver police continue to cite and arrest adults in Denver under a state marijuana law, although a 2006 effort to amend the state law received more than 41 percent of the statewide vote, including an even greater majority in Denver, than Initiative 100 in 2005.

Those opposed say:
· If this bill passes it will not affect police policy.
· Marijuana is considered a dangerous drug and its use and possession should be illegal.


QUESTION 1 - Question 1-A proposes to increase the mill levy rate, solely dedicated to funding capital maintenance.

Questions 1-B through 1-I are general obligation bonds to provide funding for maintenance that has been deferred. Most of the cost of these new bonds will be covered by the existing mill rate as old bonds close out and make money available. If all of the bond issues are passed the current bonding capacity of $480 million will be exceeded by$70,000,000. Additional taxes needed to make up that shortfall are estimated to add $12 the annual tax bill of an average ($255,000) homeowner. All bonds included in Question 1 have a 20 year term.

These questions were referred by City Council.

State law requires voters to approve all bond projects and tax increases.

1-A Capital Maintenance Mill Levy establishes a new property tax at the rate of 2.5 mills solely dedicated to the funding of capital maintenance. The funding would support ongoing maintenance to the infrastructure at an increased level. This mill levy increase is estimated to add $49 to the tax bill of an average ($255,000) homeowner.

1-B Health and Human Services System Facilities.
$48,583,000 for improvements and renovations to several city-owned facilities including Denver Health and Hospital building; building improvements and renovations to child care and child development centers; replacing the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter; and replacing the Eastside Human Services Facility

1-C Library System Facilities
$51,883,000 for maintenance on existing libraries and constructing new branch facilities for West Denver, Stapleton and Green Valley Ranch

1-D Streets, Transportation and Public Works System Facilities
$149,786,000 for repairing streets, structures, and/or increasing road capacity; replacing and/or repairing sound walls; repairing and/or installing new curb and gutter; improving transit stop connections, streetscapes and upgrading street medians; and constructing and expanding the Cherry Creek Solid Waste Facility

1-E Park System Facilities

$93,387,000 for maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration repair and/or replacement of drainage and irrigation systems; pools; historic structures and features, playground, and building systems; landscapes; trails, roads and parking lots; and, together with acquisition, design and development of land, park and recreation centers

1-F Public Office Facilities

$10,350,000 for city and county building and the former city permit center

1-G Cultural Facilities –Maintenance
$60,546,000 for the renovation, reconstruction, replacement and/or repair of the Denver Botanic Gardens buildings and grounds, the Conservatory and Greenhouse; the Boettcher Concert Hall; the Champa Street side of the Quigg Newton Denver Municipal Auditorium; the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre rehearsal space; and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

1-H Cultural Facilities – New Construction
$70,000,000 for classrooms, labs, a teacher education center and other facilities for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and for the reconstruction and expansion of Boettcher Concert Hall

1-I Public Safety Facilities
$65,195,000 for construction, renovation or replacement of a police crime lab, firing range, fire stations and police traffic operations facility

Those in favor say:
· As the city has grown, it has fallen behind in basic maintenance and much of its infrastructure is in disrepair.
· The increased mill levy (1-A) provides support to raise the level of ongoing annual maintenance.
· The bond issues (1-B – 1-I) provide funding for projects, identified by a citizens’ task force, as crucial to city needs. These are primarily deferred maintenance projects with some new construction.
· Timely maintenance and upkeep of facilities cost less than deferred maintenance and will reduce the need for future bond issues.
· The cost of this package to the homeowner is modest and Denver has one of the lowest property tax rates in the region.

Those opposed say:
· Taxes should not be raised when the city is not spending wisely what it already has.
· Property taxes disproportionately impact homeowners on fixed incomes.
· The proposed bonds will be issued for 20 years instead of 15 years, adding $115 million to the cost.
· New facilities included in this package (libraries, for example) will require operating expenses that have not been funded.
· If all the bonds are passed, the total amount will exceed existing bonding capacity, which causes a tax increase.


CCJRC BLOG "Think Outside the Cage"

There have now been over 35,000 hits from locations all over the world.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to send me an email at pam@ccjrc.org.

You can access Think Outside the Cage by clicking here.

GOODSEARCH is here!!!

You can support CCJRC every time you use the internet by making "Good Search" your homepage and using Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition as your non-profit charity, we get one penny every time you search the internet. Go to http://www.goodsearch.com/ to understand more. Just enter in the whole name of the organization: Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

If you want to make GoodSearch your home page you can click here and go to http://www.goodsearch.com/MakeHomepage.aspx which is the link that will explain how to do that. Thank you for your support.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Colorado CURE - Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 24th

7:00 p.m.

ACLU

400 Corona St.

Denver, CO. 80209

CURE/Sex Offenders Issues Group

Tuesday, October 23th

7:00 p.m.

St. Paul Lutheran Church

1600 Grant St.

Denver, CO 80202

This is a group for families and friend of sex offenders (and those required by law to participate

in sex offender treatment) to help navigate through the current system and laws

Southern Colorado CURE Meeting

Wednesday, October 17th

7:00 pm

ComCor Administration Bldg

3615 Roberts Road

Colorado Springs, CO 80907


New Foundations

Reducing Recidivism with Ari Zavaras

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Molly Blank Conference Center

National Jewish Hospital

1400 Jackson St.

Denver, CO 80205

Join us for a discussion with Ari Zavaras, Executive Director of the CDOC

on reducing recidivism in our state. Tasty appetizers and desserts and a silent auction featuring

valuable items to bid on. CCJRC will also be tabling at this event.

BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY, SPACE IS LIMITED

$25 in advance, $30 at the door and $10 for students

Phone: 303-825-2562

Email: nfnc@earthlink.net

OnLine: www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp (event code: nfnc07)


Center For Spirituality At Work

Making Choices Mentoring Program Dinner

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

5-9 pm.

Highland's Garden Cafe

3927 W. 32nd Ave

Denver CO

303-458-5920 for reservations

Making Choices will receive 25% of all food sales during this event

Since 1999 Making Choices has provide mentoring services to over 350 women and our

recidivism rate is only 8%. Take a friend to dinner and support this program.


Broken Windows - Baker Neighborhood Meeting

Tuesday, November 13

6:30 - 8:00

Presbyterian Church

127 W. 1st Ave.(1st and Acoma)

Denver CO 80223

A “Broken Windows” project will be undertaken by police in the Baker neighborhood. The police will be increasing their presence in the Baker area. The Denver police department will be presenting at this meeting.


Support the Jena 6

Saturday, October 13

11:00 a.m.

Blackberry's Coffee Shop

710 E. 26th Ave

Denver, CO

(303) 830-3156


Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center

Peace Rally

Saturday, October 27

Noon

State Capitol

Denver, CO 80202



Colorado Progressive Coalition

Halloween Benefit - Dress As Your Scariest Political Nightmare

Friday, October 26

7:00 p.m.

Brian's Casa

623 E. 11th Ave.

Denver, CO 80218

Please RSVP to Lindsey

at: lindsey@progressivecoalition.org or call (303) 910-5700


Colorado Coalition For The Homeless

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

"Just A Paycheck Away"

La Junta Senior Center

114 E. 2nd St.

La Junta, Colorado

For more info. Call Whitney 303-628-0925


9 to 5 National Organization of Working Women

Thursday, October 18th

Go Lead Political Advocacy Training

Gill Foundation

315 E. Costilla St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 473-4455

Sexual Harrassment and Job Discrimination Workshop

Thursday, November 1st

6-8 p.m.

655 Broadway

Denver, CO 80209

CRC Conference Room on 3rd Floor

For more information on either of these events

Contact: Lorena Garcia, Organizer

9 to 5 National Association of Working Women

lorena@9to5colorado.org

303-628-0925


PeaceJam

Saturday, November 3rd

6:00 pm - $10 at the door

Concert for Burma: Featuring Flobots and other local performers

Denver Center for International Studies

6th and Elati

Call Jes at 303-455-2099 for more information


Pendulum Foundation

Wednesday, October 24th

9:00 p.m.

"When Kids Get Life"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline

KBDI-Channel 12