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.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

You Have To Let Them Out Eventually

This is a classic case of why focusing our funds on bricks and mortar is a bad idea. By not providing services for the people who really need it, we are deteriorating public safety.

Las Vegas Sun
Judge says 500 remain in Nevada prisons despite being paroled

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - More than 500 inmates still are in Nevada prisons despite the fact they have been granted parole, the state Board of Prison Commissioners has been told.

Justice Jim Hardesty told the panel, chaired by Gov. Jim Gibbons, that many of the parolees aren't getting out because there's no room for them in programs mandated as a condition for their release - and in some cases all the conditions aren't necessary.

"There is a lack of facilities or treatment capability to meet the conditions that were imposed," said the Supreme Court justice, who is chairing a study commission reviewing prison overcrowding and Nevada's sentencing laws.

"A number of inmates have had conditions imposed on them - for example, inpatient treatment - who may not need inpatient treatment," he added Thursday.

State Corrections Director Howard Skolnik told the board that there are another 500-plus inmates who are eligible for parole hearings but, because of the state Parole Board's heavy workload, haven't had a hearing yet. He said that number will be about 800 by year's end.

Hardesty said that means, "there are over 1,000 inmates in who should be out. If we can figure a way to get this bubble out of the prison, the impact to this department's budget and the state's budget would be huge."

The Parole Board's workload was increased by recent law changes that retroactively doubled the amount of good-time credits an inmate can earn, and allowed inmates to attend parole hearings and to have a representative present.

Skolnik said the result is the average parole hearing is now 45 minutes - three times as long as it used to be.

Skolnik also said Nevada's prison population is now more than 13,400, about 250 more than his department was budgeted for. He noted the Southern Desert Correctional Center, which was built for a maximum of 750 inmates, now holds nearly 1,700 convicts.

He also said more prison beds are needed for women inmates, a facility for aging convicts should be set up, and part of the High Desert prison in southern Nevada should be upgraded to maximum-security to eliminate double-bunking at the existing "max" Ely State Prison.

The oldest cellblock at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City will have to be shut down because it's too old and no longer cost-effective to run, Skolnik added.

Real Cost Of Prisons


amy borgstrom said...

if the prisons are so overcrowded maybe you guys should take a closer look at the inmates you house. i don't understand why you guys keep the non-violent criminals lokcked up for so long when they did petty crimes, you guys should be keeping the ones who are sex offenders or a threat to society. my boyfriend has been locked up a ESP for 5 years for little petty crimes he's a non-violent criminal and he goes up for parole at the end of the month.
so what im getting at is a solution to the overcrowding problem can be resolved by letting the ones out that are either rehabilitated or not a threat to our society. that will probably make plenty of room for the real criminals.

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