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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Author Gives Prisoners Chance To Start Anew

Deanna Allen was never incarcerated, but she does know what it's like to be imprisoned.

And now the former Vacaville resident with the troubled past and enlightening present is reaching out to girls and women behind bars in hopes of showing them that freedom can be theirs if they choose it, like she did.

"I want to see them free and not coming back ... keep their kids out of the system," she said. "I want to break the generational pattern."

Allen, 37, is the national director of the Daughters of Destiny, an 18-month-old prison ministry under the auspices of Colorado Springs-based Impact for Life Ministries that serves women and young women incarcerated in jails, juvenile halls and prisons across the country. The nonprofit offers a five-step program that begins behind bars and continues after a "daughter" has been released from confinement. It offers hope and a lifeline, two things Allen didn't believe she had nearly 20 years ago.

Back then, Allen and her younger brother were weathering the impact of their parents' divorce, among other issues. Both siblings apparently lost their way, and their lives suffered for it.

brother in the literal one." He had served time in San Quentin, where he later died.

In her younger years, Allen said, she was an 85-pound methamphetamine-addicted mother of three dealing with physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse. She later lost a child to death, and attempted suicide.

"I consider myself a murderer. I never killed anyone, but I had a couple of abortions," she said. "I consider myself a thief - I've stolen and robbed for my addiction. I can relate to prostitution - I never put myself out on a corner ... but I went straight to the drug dealer and slept with him. I traded my femininity for things that I wanted."

Meanwhile she railed at God for not allowing her to die and questioned the purpose of her life.

Much later, Allen's life began to turn around. She was healing, and decided to reach out to to women with similar experiences in hopes of setting them on the path to health. A published author, she subsequently penned "Pathway to Serenity," a sampling of her life that incarcerated women could possibly relate to and learn from. But on that fateful day two years ago when her manuscript was ready to go she received another blow, one that she still is recovering from.

"That was the day I heard from San Quentin that my brother had died, that they had found him hanging," she remembered, her voice soft as tears streamed down her face. "What was a passion with helping people with their brokenness became an obsession."

Through an online blog, Allen learned of the Library of Hope, which is affiliated with Impact for Life Ministries. Following several contacts with Impact's founder, she was later appointed as national director of Daughters of Destiny.

Allen travels monthly to jail and prison facilities throughout the United States to host evangelistic crusades as well as implement other parts of the organization's programs. She truly connects with incarcerated women, she said, because she's experienced what many of them have, and they realize that.

"They're really engaged. I can see with my eyes the transformation," she said "She (the inmate) wants the freedom and the peace and the joy. The broken little girl in her just wants to be loved. ... They want to know that all their pain, it wasn't for nothing."

This mission, Allen said, is why God wanted her to live.

"And every time I walk into a prison and I see the women, I say 'Every single one of you are part of my why,' ' she emphasized. "Knowing the point of it all is very fulfilling and very energizing."

Daughters of Ministry is coming to Solano. Allen has already been in touch with the chaplain at the sentenced Detention Facility in Fairfield, is partnering with a local outreach group that ministers to men and is talking with church and other community groups. Her hope is to extend ministry to inmates at Solano County's Jail and Juvenile Hall.

Vacaville residents can learn about Daughters of Destiny today through a family fun day from 2-5 p.m. at Cloud 9 Jumps, 2059 East Monte Vista Avenue. Cost is $2 per child with a maximum of $10 per family. Youths must wear socks to jump. Proceeds go to Daughters of Destiny. Copies of Allen's book will be available for sale.

Through the event, Allen said, residents can learn not only about her group, but also the changing face of incarceration, the impact it has on families as well as individuals and how communities can help.

"It's changing lives," she said, of Daughters of Ministry. "This is a ripe, ripe harvest field. If you think you can make a difference in someone's life, this is a great place to do it."

For info, call 719-632-8747, e-mail deanna@daughtersofdestinypm.org or visit

The Reporter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

通常坊間高 酒店兼職檔西餐廳情人套餐壹客就要花費五 酒店工作、六百元以上,甚至上千元,對於有荷包預算的情侶們無疑是大大的負擔。 酒店上班考量目前低靡景氣,加 寒假打工上今年七夕情人節是在平常日,為刺激買氣高雄麗尊酒店特 暑假打工別推出「經濟型情人自助餐每對990元」,23日前預 酒店PT約且付定金者可免費獲贈「純手工玫瑰巧戒」乙只;現點現做的 禮服酒店香煎美國沙朗牛排吃到飽」更是經濟實惠,僅限於8/26七夕情人節晚餐時 兼差段。七夕情人節還沒想好怎麼過嗎?趕 打工快把握機會!

台北酒店經紀酒店於8/26晚上推出「七夕夜~五星經濟情人 酒店經紀餐優惠專案」,每對只要990元(含一成服務費),此外 酒店打工,凡於8/23日前預約並付訂金者免費 酒店兼差獲贈「純手工玫瑰巧戒」乙只,更為小倆口的戀情喝花酒加溫!值得一提的是,「純手工玫瑰巧戒」交際應酬用比利時產地的白巧克力,經由隔水加熱法融解、降溫再粉味小火加熱等多道繁複製作過程才能完成戒台部份,玫瑰花亦使用白巧克力加上麥芽糖隔水加熱充份混合均勻後再冷卻一夜後方可塑形。


另外,以多國料理聞名的地球村自助餐廳提供多樣化精緻自助吧,無論 酒店是前菜、甜點、湯品、DIY擔仔麵、鮮蔬沙拉、鐵板燒等,提供豐富且多樣的菜式,讓喜愛自由用餐、歡樂氛圍的情侶們可以輕鬆大啖美食,不用擔心荷包大失血的顧慮。