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, December 21, 2007

Prison Staff Helps 86-Year Old Man Get Out of Jail

I think this was how the "Broken Windows" theory was supposed to work.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — An 86-year-old man jailed for a week for not mowing high grass or cleaning trash from his yard has gotten help from prison staff hoping to keep him from going to the slammer again.

John Allen was sent to prison after being convicted of violating a Union Township law stating private property must be clear of junk, rubbish, garbage or unruly grass.

Union Township Police Chief Joseph Lombardo said Allen did not heed warnings to clean up his property, which neighbors complained was an eyesore. Allen also refused help from others in the neighborhood and from a group that assists the elderly, Lombardo said.

"I don't want local people in my house," Allen told the New Castle News when asked why he had turned down the help of friends and neighbors. "Ordinarily, I wouldn't let you through the front door."

But after seven days in jail, Allen agreed to accept an offer of help from Lawrence County prison staff.

So, about a dozen corrections officers spent several days this week at the elderly man's house. Working on their own time, they filled a garbage bin to the brim with old furniture and other household goods. They plan to get to the yard — including mowing the high grass — once the recent snow melts.

Allen, a World War II veteran who worked in the airline industry in California, praised the prison staff for treating him well when he was behind bars and for helping him stay out of more trouble.

"I've got nothing but good to say about the way they treated me," Allen said.

But despite the fond memories, Allen says he has no desire to return to jail. "Whoever wants to be incarcerated?" he asked.



AP Report

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