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, January 27, 2008

In Memoriam - Judge Eleanor Shockett

Judge Shockett passed away on January 12. I listened to her speak at the DPA conference in New Orleans in Dec. She was a member of LEAP and wonderful speaker. This is from the LEAP website:

I am very sad to have to report that Judge Eleanor Levingston Schockett died Saturday, January 12, 2008, at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

Eleanor was a close friend, a colleague, and an unbeatable advocate for sensible thinking in a world that is desperately in need of such people.

I had the pleasure of spending several weeks in the company of Judge Schockett over the last four years. Eleanor joined LEAP by email, July 2, 2003 saying:

"I retired from the circuit bench Dec.31, 2002. (I served two six-year terms). I was referred to this organization by John Chase of the November organization. My interest in this subject dates back to 1958 when I wrote my senior paper at Tulane Law School on the administration of the drug laws in the United States. Matters have only gotten worse in the intervening years as I observed when in the Criminal Division of the Court. The main reason I did not take senior judge status is that I wanted to have my civil rights back, so I could speak out on political as well as judicial issues. I am in full agreement with your mission statement and would like to do whatever I can to contribute to a more responsible drug policy."

It wasn't very long before we realized we must recruit her as a member of the LEAP Board of Directors. Eleanor sat through what seemed at the time to be endless hours of board meetings as we shaped our organization. Her advice was always clear and concise. On many occasions she saved us from making major mistakes.

In those four years, Eleanor never turned down a venue arranged to present LEAP's goal to end drug prohibition. She was absolutely tireless. I had the honor of traveling with Eleanor and retired Detective Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, Eddie Ellison, to New Zealand. In two-weeks we made 90 presentations in that country. Then we were off to a week at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

My wife accompanied us on that trip and became another of Eleanor's many friends. Eleanor visited us at our home in Medford, Massachusetts many times.

Eleanor fought cancer for the last year, but after a regime of chemotherapy thought she had beaten it. She never complained about her own plight. She told me how ridiculous it was that doctors in North Carolina would charge her $105 per pill to alleviate the nausea caused by her chemo treatment when a simple marijuana cigarette would have accomplished the same thing -- without the side effects. She said that just made her more determined to work to end prohibition of all drugs.

Judge Schockett traveled to New Orleans last December to join 1,200 of us at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference. She spoke on one of the panels and helped us plan our strategy for our continued struggle.


STOP THE DRUG WAR

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree, stop the war on drugs and end the probition of all drugs. We could take all the DEA agents and swat teams and make border patrol guards out of them. Could send the swat teams out to round up the illegals. Look back at history. President Isenhower rounded up the wet backs in 1954 and 1955 so the returning GI's of the Korean war could get a job when we got home. I was one of them. DJW

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