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.


Friday, May 02, 2008

New Police Discipline Starts Next Week

After more than three years of pushing and debate, the city of Denver is ready to put in place a get-tough police discipline system that will have swifter and harsher punishment for misconduct

The final arbiter on the proposal, the Denver Civil Service Commission, quietly gave preliminary approval April 18.

The commission is expected to formally sign off on the rule changes today. If that occurs, the rule will go into effect after five days.

Nick Rogers, vice president of the Denver Police Protective Association, said the union is upset with some last-minute tinkering and is contemplating legal action.

"At the eleventh hour, they changed it back to what the manager of safety was asking for, which was disheartening to us," Rogers said.

The union fears the overhaul would give too much authority to the police administration and take away the autonomy of the commission, which is charged with ensuring discipline is meted out fairly.

Rogers said the union submitted written arguments this week in an effort to convince the commission against promulgating the new rules as currently proposed.

Earl Peterson, executive director of the civil service commission, said he doubted commissioners would approve any last-minute changes.

"I don't see that happening," he said. "The wording was brought to a level where our legal counsel felt it would not compromise the integrity of due process the civil service commission affords represented employees."

Safety Manager Al LaCabe, who oversees the Police Department, has pushed for the discipline overhaul for three years. He has argued that when he was appointed in 2002, he inherited an inefficient, ineffective and wildly inconsistent discipline system.

The old system relied on past discipline decisions to determine the proper punishment of officers.

LaCabe has argued that was a flawed system because it relied upon discipline decisions that might have been made by managers during more lenient police administrations.


The Denver Post

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