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, April 28, 2008

Record Sealing Bill Needs Your Help

Legislative Action Alert – from Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Record Sealing Bill (HB 1082)

sponsored by Representative Mark Ferrandino and Senator Bob Bacon

Update:

The Record Sealing bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-2, bipartisan vote today (4/28). The bill will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be voted on by the full Senate Appropriations Committee and will be voted on by the full Senate as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY!

History: Last year, a similar record sealing bill was passed by the House (46-18) and Senate (26-8) but vetoed by Governor Ritter. Governor Ritter has indicated that he will only support minor drug offenses as crimes that would be eligible for sealing. Subsequently, the list of crimes eligible for sealing has been significantly narrowed.

What the record sealing bill does:

Current Colorado Law prevents any person with a criminal conviction of any type (petty offense, misdemeanor or felony) from sealing their records from public disclosure.

HB 1082 allows people with certain convictions who have successfully completed their sentences and have been offense-free for ten (10) years from the completion of the sentence to petition the court for a sealing of their records. The Court does NOT have to order the sealing. The court will conduct a balancing test to determine if the sealing is fair considering the public’s right to know.

· Only people who have been convicted of drug offenses that are petty offenses, misdemeanors, and minor felonies (Class 5 and Class 6) are eligible to apply for sealing.

· For offenses committed before July 1, 2008, the Prosecuting Attorney will have to consent for the sealing to occur.

· The petitioner is required to pay ALL costs of the sealing, including attorneys’ fees to the Prosecuting Attorney, for the sealing to take place.

· Law enforcement will always have access to convictions (and dismissed cases as well) and convictions to always be available for use for any lawful criminal justice purpose. Convictions will still be available to all employers who have a statutory mandate to conduct a criminal background check.

Rationale:

Even after people have completed their sentence and been law abiding for years or even decades, they are forever stigmatized by having a criminal record.

Even minor offenses, committed many years ago, can prevent someone from obtaining housing and meaningful employment or advancement in his/her career field.

The possibility of being able to seal a criminal record is a strong and real incentive for a person to turn his/her life around.

A recent study found that after six or seven years from an arrest, the likelihood of offending for young men with criminal records is similar to those with no criminal history. For employers concerned about hiring people with criminal records, a criminal record offers little relevant information once a critical period of time has passed. Therefore, over time a criminal history is both less relevant and less accurate in predicting future criminal activity. However, the stigma and bias remain. Scarlet Letters and Recidivism: Does An Old Criminal Record Predict Future Offending?,Kurlycheck, Brame and Bushway, Criminology and Public Policy, Vol 5, No 3 (August 2006)

Additional Supporters: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-Colorado, ACLU, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Matthews Center for Excellence, SAFER, Colorado Springs Black/Latino Coalition, Road Called STRATE, Colorado CURE, Sensible Colorado, The Council, Bayaud Industries, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Harm Reduction Project, Metro CareRing, Pendulum Foundation, Capitol Hill United Ministries, Alternative Defense Counsel, TASC, New Foundations, Center For Spirituality at Work, Probation Advocates, Denver Inner City Parish, Advocates for Recovery, Denver Urban Ministries, First Congregational Church-Justice and Peace Ministry, National Lawyers Guild, Progress Now, Colorado Social Legislative Committee, The Center for Progressive Leadership, Justice and Social Professionals Network.

The following is a list of Senators that have already voted in favor of the record sealing bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you contact any of these Senators, please THANK them for their support.

Bacon, Bob

SPONSOR

14

Larimer

D

Cap: 303-866-4841
E-mail: bob.bacon.senate@state.co.us

Boyd, Betty

21

Jefferson

D

Cap: 303-866-4857
E-mail: betty.boyd.senate@state.co.us

Gibbs, Dan

16

Boulder
Clear Creek
Gilpin
Grand
Jefferson
Summit

D

Cap: 303-866-4873
E-mail: dan.gibbs.senate@state.co.us

Shaffer, Brandon C.

17

Boulder

D

Cap: 303-866-5291
E-mail: brandon@brandonshaffer.com

Ward, Steve

26

Arapahoe
Jefferson

R

Cap: 303-866-4846

E-mail: steve.ward.senate@state.co.us

Here’s a list of the other Senators that will be voting on the bill. Please call them today and ask them to support the record sealing bill, HB 1082.

Brophy, Greg

1

Cheyenne
Elbert
Kiowa
Kit Carson
Lincoln
Logan
Morgan
Phillips
Prowers
Sedgwick
Washington
Yuma

R

Cap: 303-866-6360
E-mail: greg@gregbrophy.net

Cadman, Bill

10

El Paso

R

Cap: 303-866-2737
E-mail: bill.cadman.senate@state.co.us

Gordon, Ken

35

Arapahoe
Denver

D

Cap: 303-866-3341
E-mail: ken@kengordon.com

Groff, Peter C.

33

Adams
Denver

D

Cap: 303-866-4864
E-mail: peter.groff.senate@state.co.us

Hagedorn, Bob

29

Arapahoe

D

Cap: 303-866-4879
E-mail: SenBob@msn.com

Harvey, Ted

30

Douglas

R

Cap: 303-866-4881
E-mail: ted.harvey.senate@state.co.us

Isgar, Jim

6

Archuleta
Dolores
La Plata
Montezuma
Montrose
Ouray
San Juan
San Miguel

D

Cap: 303-866-4884
E-mail: isgarsenate@frontier.net

Johnson, Steve

15

Larimer

R

Cap: JBC: 303-866-2586
E-mail: steve.johnson.senate@state.co.us

Keller, Maryanne "Moe"

20

Jefferson

D

Cap: 303-866-4856
E-mail: senatorkeller2002@yahoo.com

Kester, Ken

2

Baca
Bent
Crowley
Custer
Fremont
Huerfano
Las Animas
Otero
Pueblo

R

Cap: 303-866-4877
E-mail: electkenkester@hotmail.com

>Kopp, Mike

22

Jefferson

R

Cap: 303-866-2638
E-mail: mike.kopp.senate@state.co.us

McElhany, Andrew

12

El Paso

R

Cap: 303-866-2318

Mitchell, Shawn

23

Adams
Broomfield
Weld

R

Cap: 303-866-4876
E-mail: shawnmitch@aol.com

Morse, John P.

11

El Paso

D

Cap: 303-866-6364
E-mail: john.morse.senate@state.co.us

Penry, Joshua "Josh"

7

Garfield
Mesa

R

Cap: 303-866-3077
E-mail: joshpenry@gmail.com

Renfroe, Scott W.

13

Weld

R

Cap: 303-866-4451
E-mail: scott.renfroe.senate@state.co.us

Romer, Chris

32

Denver
Jefferson

D

Cap: 303-866-4852
E-mail: chris.romer.senate@state.co.us


Sandoval, Paula E.

34

Denver

D

Cap: 303-866-4862
E-mail: nwden34@yahoo.com

Schultheis, David C. "Dave"

9

El Paso

R

Cap: 303-866-4835
E-mail: senatorschultheis@gmail.com

Schwartz, Gail

5

Alamosa
Chaffee
Conejos
Costilla
Delta
Gunnison
Hinsdale
Mineral
Pitkin
Rio Grande
Saguache

D

Cap: 303-866-4871
E-mail: gail.schwartz.senate@state.co.us

Spence, Nancy

27

Arapahoe

R

Cap: 303-866-4883
E-mail: nancyspence@qwest.net

Takis, Stephanie

25

Adams

D

Cap: 303-866-4855
E-mail: stephanie.takis.senate@state.co.us

Tapia, Abel J.

3

Pueblo

D

Cap: 303-866-4878
E-mail: abel.tapia.senate@state.co.us

Taylor, Jack

8

Eagle
Garfield
Jackson
Moffat
Rio Blanco
Routt

R

Cap: 303-866-5292

Tochtrop, Lois

24

Adams

D

Cap: 303-866-4863
E-mail: lotochtrop@aol.com

Tupa, Ron

18

Boulder

D

Cap: 303-866-4872
E-mail: ron.tupa.senate@state.co.us

Veiga, Jennifer

31

Adams
Denver

D

Cap: 303-866-4861
E-mail: jennifer.veiga.senate@state.co.us

Ward, Steve

26

Arapahoe
Jefferson

R

Cap: 303-866-4846

E-mail: steve.ward.senate@state.co.us

Wiens, Tom J

4

Douglas
El Paso
Lake
Park

Teller

R

Cap: 303-866-4869
E-mail: tom@tomwiens.com

Williams, Suzanne

28

Arapahoe
Denver

D

Cap: 303-866-3432
E-mail: suzanne.williams.senate@state.co.us

Windels, Sue

19

Jefferson

D

Cap: 303-866-4840
E-mail: senatorwindels@comcast.net



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

the bill is a farce and helps literally no one. Its designed by hypocrites. My suggestion is if you get out of a Colorado prison get to hell out of the State and never go back.djw

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