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, March 20, 2008

Let Judges Decide On Charges For Teens - Editorial

This winter I completed a nine-week program put on by the Denver District Attorney's Office to explain its program to the public. It was an interesting and well-run advocacy program that showed off the prosecutorial skills of the office, which are considerable.

It also emphasized a prosecutorial spirit that celebrates convictions and disdains reversals - as well it might, you could say, because the staff are all prosecutors. Correct, but then all the more reason that judges, not prosecutors, should make the all-important decision of whether or not to file against a juvenile as an adult ("Argument on kids vs. adults," Live from the Colorado Legislature, March 12).

The cool hand of justice - balancing punishment with rehabilitation - was not in evidence during my course. The strong voice of victims of crime was present at every stage. While victims certainly deserve the help of the city, they are ill-equipped to decide questions of justice. So I am strongly in favor of returning to our practice of allowing judges, whose mission is neither prosecution nor defense, to decide which court is appropriate for the accused.


Rocky Mountain News

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