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.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tense Moments After Boot Camp Acquittal

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Tensions ran high after eight former boot camp workers were acquitted of manslaughter in the death of a 14-year-old inmate who was videotaped being punched and kicked.

The case sparked outrage and spelled the end of Florida's system of juvenile boot camps, but it took a jury just 90 minutes Friday to decide that the death of Martin Lee Anderson was not a crime.

Anger over the verdict was obvious outside the courtroom, where bystanders screamed "murderer" at former guard Henry Dickens as he described his relief at the verdict.

"I am truly, truly sorry this happened. Myself, I love kids," said Dickens, 60. He said Anderson "wasn't beaten. Those techniques were taught to us and used for a purpose."

Anderson died a day after being hit and kicked by Dickens and six other guards as a nurse watched, a 30-minute confrontation that drew protests in the state capital.

The defendants testified they followed the rules at a get-tough facility where young offenders often feigned illness to avoid exercise. Their attorneys said that Anderson died not from rough treatment, but from a previously undiagnosed blood disorder.

The boy's mother, Gina Jones, stormed out of the courtroom. "I cannot see my son no more. Everybody see their family members. It's wrong," she said.


Rocky Mountain News