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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CCJRC In The News: Getting Out of Prison and Into a Job

Clayton Smalls has come a long way since he was holding up tellers behind bank counters.

Today he works as a deli man behind the counter of a Fairway Market in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Smalls, 49, who got out of prison in October 2007 after serving 17 months for selling marijuana, has spent most of his life in and out of jail for everything from robbery to drug dealing.

But he's finally ready to change his life, and the job he landed -- thanks to help from America Works, an employment agency that trains and finds jobs for hard-to-place candidates like ex-cons and welfare recipients -- has gone a long way in motivating him.

"I get to work every day an hour early," he says proudly. "The store manager has high hopes for me. He's teaching me how to cut salmon."

"This job is the most important thing in my life," he adds.

There's a growing desire in this country to get ex-offenders jobs as a way to keep them out of jail. The federal government and some municipalities are doing what they can to help parolees get job training and offering employers incentives to hire former prisoners, spurred by skyrocketing incarceration costs and exploding prison populations.

"Acquiring employment is crucial," says Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill. "If they don't get employment, many of these individuals will be back on the corner hollering 'crack and blow.' "

That's part of the reason Davis co-sponsored the Second Chance Act, a bipartisan bill President Bush signed into law in May 2008 authorizing $165 million annually for a host of initiatives to curb recidivism, including money to train ex-offenders for jobs. (About 700,000 people are released from prisons every year, and about two-thirds of those are expected to be back in prison within three years, according to the Department of Justice.)

The federal government already offers employers a tax incentive of $2,400 to hire parolees, and some municipalities are following suit. Last month, the City of Philadelphia announced a program offering employers in the city a $10,000 tax incentive for every ex-offender they hire.

Read More At MSN Careerbuilder


Anonymous said...

Then why does Colorado refuse to release a non violent inmate who has a college degree, does not smoke, use drugs nor alcohol, has a good job and family waiting for her??? She was incarcerated for writing checks back in 2004 in Boulder county. djw

Anonymous said...

More of this!!

C'mon Colorado, C'mon

Hang tough ccjrc... you are loved

,- )

I've been interactig with a job service for ex-offenders lately that looks good


Anonymous said...