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 16, 2007

Mayors Tackle Homelessness

Now, we just have to get them to run a PR campaign for homeless felons. A majority of our homeless population are people who are released from jail and prison homeless. That felony record may as well be a life sentence for those who are trying to rent an apartment.

At least 15 mayors from across the nation signed a proclamation in Denver today pledging to tackle homelessness.

The proclamation was the product of a summit on homelessness held at The Curtis, a downtown Denver hotel. The mayors met earlier in the day behind closed doors to brainstorm about how to tackle the problem.

The document signed by the mayors endorses providing housing as the most effective response to the issue as opposed to emphasizing temporary programs that provide meals and emergency care.

The summit highlights leadership on the issue from Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who has made addressing homeless concerns one of the top priorities of his administration.

Several mayors said they were copying ideas initiated in Denver.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who participated by a telephone conference call, said his city was working on implementing a plan Denver initiated that has churches mentor the homeless and help them transition toward stability.

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Santa Barbara, Calif., Mayor Marty Blum said they planned to replicate a campaign in Denver that encourages people to donate money for homeless programs by depositing coins in special parking meters instead of giving the money to panhandlers.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Mayor Ron Littlefield compared the summit to a "spiritual revival" at a southern church.

Hickenlooper, in an interview, said the proclamation signed by the mayors showed an increasing awareness that homelessness is not an intractable problem.

The Denver Post

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