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

Restorative Justice Instead Of Suspension

I actually had the conversation last year with a principal when my sixteen year old had some problems at school and they wanted to suspend her. "You are punishing her for being out of school by letting her stay out of school?" "Yep" he said.
The fight began with name-calling in a classroom and had escalated by the time school let out into a brawl outside cheered on by dozens of excited students.

A couple days later, the two boys involved - plus their moms - were sitting around a table at North High School talking about what led to fists flying.

"I told him I was going to d--- slap him," one boy said, using slang for male anatomy. "I was playing."

"He did it maybe about three times and then I just kind of got irritated," said the other.

Some schools might suspend the fighters from classes for a few days and stop at that. In fact, that's the norm in Denver Public Schools, which relies on out-of- school suspensions as a disciplinary tactic more than any other large district in Colorado.

But North is trying something different, an approach called restorative justice that Denver school board members in November will consider for use across the district.

Rocky mountain news