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.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fewer Crimes Not More Prison

Nation needs fewer crimes, not more prisons

Earlier this week, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa laid out his case for more jail cells to ease overcrowding at the Criminal Justice Center. A look around the nation shows Maketa is not alone in his concerns for the safety of his deputies and inmates.

It hasn’t gotten this bad in Colorado yet, but last year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger looked at the 175,000 prisoners crammed into a prison system built for half that number and proclaimed a state of emergency. So far, this emergency has been addressed largely in terms of prison supply — more beds. A truly comprehensive solution for jails and prison systems nationwide must focus also on reducing prison demand: reducing the number of criminals by reforming sentences for those lawbreakers who don’t threaten public safety. A research institute that works closely with corrections departments around the country conducted an analysis of the nation as a whole, and found both the same problem and the same necessary solution.

According to Colorado Department of Corrections data, “As of Jan. 31, 2006, there were 28,243 people under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Corrections.” In 2004, the incarceration rate was 438 per 100,000 adult residents.

The report issued last week by the JFA Institute shows this follows the pattern of the nation as a whole, which now warehouses 2.2 million prisoners at a cost of $100 billion a year: a 10-fold increase compared with three decades ago. JFA Institute, based in Washington, D.C., works with government and philanthropic agencies to evaluate criminal justice policies and design research-based policy solutions.

Who are these 2.2 million people? Hundreds of thousands of them are people imprisoned for non-violent drug charges.

The JFA report demonstrates the primary reason for overcrowded prisons is not an explosion of crime, but an explosion of prison sentences. These sentences are many times the length of those for equivalent crimes in other industrialized nations, and they are “significantly longer than they were in earlier periods in our penal history.” The result is greater expense for less effect.

The JFA Institute argues its recommendations would save $20 billion a year and, eventually, reduce prison rolls by half. Certainly, they represent the real reforms America needs: reducing sentences, eliminating the use of prison for parole violators, reducing parole and probation supervision periods and, most importantly, decriminalizing victimless crimes.


Anonymous said...

But, but those prisons have voters who work there and are fed by having more beds. It would not make any sense to put people who need mental help into an institution where they might get help. Like over 40% of all prisoners in Colorado, send them to homeless shelter where the certainly will not violate any provision of their parole and will not fill up one of those beds...per our Governor and his ex-police chiefs who only know how to build prisons.

Anonymous said...

 “胡一刀,曲池喝花酒,天樞!苗人鳳酒店喝酒 ,地倉,合谷!個嘶啞的嗓子低沉地叫暑假打工 著。叫聲中充滿著怨毒寒假打工 和憤怒,語聲從酒店小姐 牙齒縫中迸出來,似是酒店兼職 千年万年、永恒的咒禮服店 ,每一個字音上涂著血和仇恨。 突突突突四酒店經紀 聲響,四道金光酒店兼差,四枝金鏢連珠發出,射向兩塊木牌。木牌的酒店 正面反面都繪著一個全身人酒店經紀人 形,一塊上繪的是個濃髯粗豪的大漢,旁注“胡一刀”三字;另一塊上繪的是個瘦長漢子,旁注“苗人鳳”三字,人形上書明人体周身穴酒店現領。木牌下面接有一柄,兩個身手矯捷的壯漢各持一牌,在練武廳中滿廳游走東北角一張椅子中坐著酒店經紀爆米花個五十來歲的白發婆婆,口中喊著胡一刀或苗人鳳穴道的名稱。一個二十來歲的英俊少年勁裝結束,鏢囊中台北酒店經紀帶著十几枝金鏢,听得那婆婆喊出穴道名稱,右手打工揚,就是一道金光射出,釘向木牌。兩個持牌壯漢頭戴鋼絲罩子兼差上身穿了厚棉襖再罩牛皮背心,唯恐少年失了准頭,金鏢招呼到他們身上。兩人竄高伏低,酒店打工擺木牌,要讓他酒店上班不易打中。 大廳外的窗口,伏著一個少女假日打工一個青年漢子。兩人在窗紙上挖破了兩個小孔,各用台北酒店經紀右眼湊著向里偷窺。兩人見那少年身手不凡,發鏢甚准,不由酒店pt 互相對望了一眼,臉上酒店pt都露出訝异的神色。
  天空黑沉酒店應酬 沉的堆滿了烏云。大雨傾盆而下,夾著一陣陣的電閃雷轟,勢道嚇人粉味。黃豆大的雨點打在地下,直濺到窗外兩酒店經紀找馬修少年男女酒店經濟 的身上。 們都身披油布雨衣,對廳上的事很感好奇酒店經濟再湊眼到窗洞上去看時,只听得那婆婆打工兼差道:“准頭還可將就,就是沒勁儿,今日酒店經紀就練到這里。”說著慢慢禮服店站起身來。