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.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Prisoners Likely to Stay In Oklahoma

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It could take more than a year to return nearly 500 inmates being held in a Sayre, Okla., private prison to Colorado, lawmakers acknowledged Tuesday following a trip to the facility.

Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, said as unfortunate as the situation is with 479 Colorado convicts residing at the North Fork Correctional Facility, political and fiscal realities could keep the prisoners there longer than he would like.

“In talking with some of the detainees … I think that needs to be the goal and the objective,” King said.

However, he added, “when you start putting that in some type of time frame,” constraints in Colorado could limit policymakers’ abilities to bring the inmates back.

One of those contraints is the number of available prison beds in this state, King said.

King, Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, and Colorado Department of Corrections Director Ari Zavaras visited the Sayre, Okla., prison Tuesday to inspect its conditions, meet with the warden and interview Colorado inmates.

“Believe me, as far as prisons go, I saw Sayre is a well-run prison,” King said. “Our people from Colorado are treated humanely, but that does not take away from the policy (issues).”

He said only prisons in Colorado have the proper oversight and regulations in place to properly hold the state’s convicts.

McFadyen said her tour of the North Fork Correctional Facility did nothing to change her view that the inmates need to be brought back to Colorado.

“It’s clear I don’t have a love for private prisons; in fact, I dislike them very much,” McFadyen said. “But I’d rather have my inmates in a private facility in Colorado than I would want them in a private facility outside the state.”

Nonetheless, McFadyen said until private prisons in Colorado expand enough to accommodate the men in the North Fork Correctional Facility, or the state uses its scarce capital development funds to build new prison cells, the 479 inmates in Oklahoma will have to stay there.

McFadyen said she plans to argue that leaving the inmates outside Colorado will end up costing the taxpayers more in the long run.

She said when inmates have access to their families, particularly through visitations, those convicts are less likely to reoffend and become again a burden on the state.

“I’d rather stem the tide of inmates,” McFadyen said. “Lowering recidivism benefits every taxpayer.”

Families of the North Fork Correctional Facility inmates have said since December 2006, when the inmates were first moved out of state, that the distant prison is too far away to visit in person.

Grand Junction


Anonymous said...

Just as I suspected. The 'visit' to NFCF in Sayre by these folks was just a smokescreen. This was a simple appeasement. This still does not argue the FACT that those inmates have a very legitimate *case* with Beckham County AND with the CDOC. Something stinks. The families are being punished. Foul. Minimum security in medium is unconstitutional. What did these fellows do to deserve what would normally mean a BAD RECORD to deserve medium security status? Explanation is required. Meanwhile, to the inmates & family members, the message is "pi$$ off." MONEY FOR DOC!!!

Anonymous said...

dont expect them home anytime soon and if there lucky doc wont pay as promised as in the last time they sent people out of state to minn. this will be there only chance to come back in the state.because any prison with the capacity needed is many years off and the state is not doing any thing to stop people from coming back so its business as usual for d.o.c. ...big business.....

Anonymous said...

So true as big business that contributes to their political campaigns and these people cant vote....
If DOC would classify inmates correctly we could actually shut down prisons in Colorado, or at least make money renting out the beds to other states. There is NO logical reason to put drug offenders into prison. They need treatment and education as to how to stop their habits. There are some that are too far gone...but at least give the young ones a chance to reform.

Anonymous said...

This is TOTAL injustice. AGAIN. My husband (one of the original 280)has been there since dec. 2006 and he should be in a minimum-R. He even graduated from the DOC's damn boot camp so he could work his way home. He is a non-violent, first time offender. All he has gotten is screwed over. His fingers and collar bone broken in boot camp and his head split open in boot camp, they ripped off his posessions in the transfer to OK , Said they were "lost". He has been isolated from his family, and punished for his good behavior.DOC lied about getting our family the video visitation. I think that the DOC is one of the BIGGEST CRIMINAL SYSTEMS I have ever seen. This whole situation makes me sick. Who can you turn to for any type of real justice?

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