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.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Treatment Not Incarceration - NM

The thirty-day session in New Mexico is nearly halfway over. Drug policy reform bills are moving forward, but an important treatment bill needs your help!

House Bill 488 would provide treatment to people with drug possession charges or drug-related probation/parole violations, instead of putting them in jail or prison. If this measure passes, it will help increase access to treatment -- an important public health move given that our state has one of the highest rates in the nation of people who need treatment for illicit drug use but do not receive it.

Please call or email your Representative today and ask them to support House Bill 488. The bill will be heading to the House floor sometime next week, and we need to make sure legislators know how important this is to the people of New Mexico. You can find your Representative's email or Capitol office phone number by entering your zip code + 4 here. Click here to find your zip plus four-digit code.

Tips on Making a Call:
Most legislators' staff answer their phones during the session and log all of the messages. The call will only take a minute!

  • Be courteous, positive, and brief.
  • Identify yourself and mention if you are a constituent.
  • Ask the legislators to support House Bill 488, Treatment instead of Incarceration, on the House floor.

Tips on writing an Email:
Legislators receive hundreds of emails a day, so you need to make yours stand out.

  • Be courteous, positive, and brief.
  • Put important information in the subject line. For example, “Support HB488 on the House floor” or “People with Drug Addiction Need Treatment, Not Jail”.
  • Identify yourself and mention if you are a constituent.
  • Ask your legislator to support HB 488, Treatment instead of Incarceration, during the House floor vote.

Feel free to briefly tell them why you personally support treatment. You can also refer to our website for talking points and more information on the bill.

More Information:

HB 488: Pre-trial Diversion for Nonviolent Drug Offenders, sponsored by Representative Antonio Maestas

This bill will divert nonviolent drug possession offenders into treatment services, instead of prison or jail time. Treatment instead of incarceration for first- or second-time nonviolent drug possession offenders will not only save New Mexico millions of dollars a year, but will also make our communities safer by helping individuals receive appropriate community-based substance abuse treatment. Of the approximately 5,600 people in New Mexico's state prison system in 2002, about 87% were assessed as needing substance abuse services and 70% as substance abusing or dependent. Nonviolent drug offenders struggling with substance abuse or dependence need help, not jail.

Bill Text