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.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Colorado Weighing Its Options

DENVER - Colorado will be more than 4,600 prison beds short by 2014 if it does not start immediately on a nearly $800 million proposal to build or expand five correctional facilities, Department of Corrections Executive Director Ari Zavaras says.

But before it launches into such a high-dollar plan, the state must consider another statistic. The rate of inmate growth, which was about 90 per month last year, has been reduced to an average of 45 a month since July, meaning those beds may not be needed so desperately.

The number of new prisoners has fluctuated wildly over the past half-year, with some months recording a decrease and others producing jumps of as many as 125 convicts. Yet state leaders have little time to decide if the need for beds has lessened because of an increase in anti-recidivism programs or if the downswing is an aberration.

To add more than 5,400 new beds requires significant planning. Yet, with the fiscal 2008-09 budget proposal set to be released soon, the idea of putting large amounts of capital-construction money aside for prisons has yet to become a hot topic at the Capitol.

"Timing is everything, and the Legislature is not very cognizant of the bed-shortage problem," said Rep. Buffie Mc-Fadyen, a Democrat whose district includes all of the prisons in the Cañon City and Florence areas. "And we're coming up on time to do something."

Projections show the state getting by with existing facilities for two years. The system will add 1,010 beds in two projects in 2009, providing a projected 125-bed surplus. But because officials project a 4.6 percent annual growth in prisoners, the system could be short 900 beds by 2011.

Colorado Springs Gazette

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's "Its"

Anonymous said...

All I can say is it really saddens me that our United States has the largest prison population. United States, Land of the FREE!!
I see our biggest drug problems in the places the continually put you on this drug and that drug, prescribed, I might add until you are addicted to those drugs and then they ask WHY??
We are a country of drug abuse because they are allowed to addict us..
Does anyone not agree?
It has not happened to me because I avoid them as much as I can but I know many people whom have been given prescription after prescription until they constantly need that prescription fix. No matter what.

Anonymous said...

The DOC staff believes that they need more community corrections and ways to rehabilitate, not new prisons. This ex-police chief only knows how to count beds and build prisons. He needs to be replaced immediately with people who know how to count and how to rehabilitate.

Anonymous said...

I fully empathize with the frustration I feel from the above comments. There are a lot more who are disillusioned and exhausted.

That miserable Colorado Springs newspaper "Gazette" is the worst place to find anything positive concerning DOC. Colorado Springs has blood up to its elbows in every way that is negative.

I am so very tired of the ever-salivating politicians and the damn DOC. I have come to the conclusion that each and every one of them are without compassion. Simply HEARTLESS. It is only about the money for them.

I have had the miserable experience of having dealt with the deceptive, corrupt manipulations of detectives preying upon young people. They use verbally brutal tactics to get a confession. It DOES NOT MATTER to them whether it is genuine or not. Colorado Springs simply wants more bodies in the $prison$ and it's more money for judges, prosecutors and the superb acting abilities of each DOC member.

They simply don't care about young lives and the multitude of lives shattered by imposing excessive sentencings without proper defense. Unbelievable!

Let's work on providing information that is positive; progressive. Better yet, damnit, LET'S DO SOMETHING!!!

Damn them. Damn them and all of their DECEIT!!!

Anonymous said...

It is true that we have the largest prison population in the world. A shattering statistic. We the people have to go andopen the doors to the prisons and get all the non violent out of prison and taken care of in other ways for there offenses. If we continur to leave the decisions up to the prosecutors, judges and the DOC in another decace we will all be locked up??? DJW

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