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, January 17, 2008

Bringin' Them Home From Oklahoma?

We are only growing by 30 people a year at DOC, even though the projections last year were at 100. It has only taken small changes in how DOC does business in order to make that happen. With a concerted effort to stop people from returning, an with increasing opportunities for people to recieve help we can have zero population growth by this time next year.

The 480 inmates exported to a private Oklahoma prison in 2006 and 2007 will return to Colorado — and visiting distance of their families — "in the near future," officials say.

Ari Zavaras, the state corrections director, wouldn't release details of the homecoming for security purposes, he told the legislature's joint Judicial Committee on Wednesday.

The return comes despite warnings of bed shortages at public prisons and threats by the private Corrections Corporation of America to ban new Colorado prisoners from its cells if the state doesn't pay the company more money.

The squabble over funds — an additional $4.2 million next year alone — won't interfere with the planned return, said Katheryn Sanguinetti, department spokeswoman.

"Any time you move inmates out of state, it's a hardship on the family," Sanguinetti said.

The inmates — among the healthiest and best-behaved in the public prison system in 2006 — were sent to the CCA-run North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Okla.

There they complained of smaller rations, lack of access to phones and law books and expensive commissary items.

Prisoner advocates and relatives meanwhile argued that family interaction is crucial to reforming inmates.


The Denver Post

2 comments:

AWARE said...

Hm. I'm very happy to have the guys return back to their resident state. However, private prisons are not the answer. Extortion is just beginning. Colorado is going to be severely burned if these "officials" don't get off their duffs and DO something! From the messages I am getting, this is more about the legitimate grievance that was files by the inmates. The Oklahoma judge went AGAINST THE LAW by not acknowledging habeus corpus. The delay needs to be reviewed. Cover up!!!

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