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

US House Passes Second Chance Act

CSG Justice Center Board Commends U.S. House Members for
Passage of the Second Chance Act on Prisoner Reentry
Leaders of the Council of State Governments Justice Center laud Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
for passage today of the Second Chance Act of 2007, H.R. 1593—a bill that will increase the likelihood that
people’s transition from prisons and jails to the community is safe and successful. The bill, introduced by Rep.
Chris Cannon (R-UT) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), received broad bipartisan support.
"The Second Chance Act's goals and provisions support the kinds of policy changes and programs that the Justice
Center's federally funded Reeentry Policy Council Report recommends to lower recidivism rates,"
said Justice Center board member and New York State Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry. “We urge the Senate to take
swift action in support of this bill.”
The House bill authorizes up to $55 million dollars in grants to state and local governments to develop reentry
initiatives to help keep people released from prisons and jails from re-offending and a $15 million reentry
program for community and faith-based organizations to deliver mentoring and transitional services.
“The passage of the Second Chance Act illustrates the extraordinary bipartisan consensus that exists among
elected officials that we need to reduce the rates at which people return to prison after they're released," said Rep.
Approximately 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS), half will return to prison within three years and even more will be re-arrested. In part, these recidivism
rates are driving the continued growth of prison and jail populations across the country and associated costs. As of
2004, national spending on local, state, and federal corrections totaled $61 billion. That figure is poised to
increase; a recent report from The Pew Charitable Trusts stated that if current federal, state, and local policies and
practices do not change, taxpayers are expected to pay as much as $27.5 billion on prisons alone over the next
five years on top of current corrections spending.
"Enacting the Second Chance Act and funding the programs it authorizes will enable us to save taxpayer dollars,
increase public safety, strengthen families, and make sure the gates to our prisons are not just revolving doors,"
said Rep. Cannon.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that serves
policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. It provides
practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies—informed by available evidence—to
increase public safety and strengthen communities

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