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.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Groups Team Up To Help Inmates Readjust

Grant-funded program will provide medical care, counseling, prescriptions and life-skills classes

A new program led by local charities will provide medical care, mental health treatment and life-skills training for inmates being released from prison, an effort that organizers hope will keep them from returning to a life of crime.

The ex-offender program is being funded by a $375,000, three-year Catholic Health Initiatives grant and appears to be the first of its kind in Colorado. Organizers plan to use the pilot program to help other communities interested in starting something similar, said Zelna Joseph, president and chief executive officer of SET Family Medical Clinics, the charity health care provider leading the program.

The concept hinges on the belief that a healthy exoffender with easy access to community resources is more likely to get and keep a job.

SET is partnering with two charity health care providers, Open Bible and Mission Medical Clinic, and the Harbor House Collaborative, a charity for the homeless and substance abusers. Together, the groups will provide basic medical care, mental health prescriptions, counseling and life-skills classes for people re-entering society after prison.

The groups will spend the next several months working out program details. The plan is to begin seeing patients by Oct. 1.

Under the plan, SET will handle basic medical care, while Open Bible will provide mental health treatment and prescriptions for conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression. Mission Medical plans to take patients with both physical and mental conditions, and Harbor House will provide life-skills training and counseling, Joseph said. SET also hopes to be a clearinghouse for other community services such as housing or work programs, Joseph said.

The Gazette


Anonymous said...

These kinds of outreach look very good to me. Something real, tangible, is what people need trying to re-enter life.

After I serve my time I hope to be involved with programs like these. I'd like to form some sort of real job service for ex-offenders. Something where a person can actually go to work 'today'

A caveat: there are predatory web sites operating that advertise as job referral services for ex-offenders, that; collect personal info and then dead end.

Some of these sites are advertising scams for the abundance of privately owned / operated 'colleges' blooming in this current economy.

One site offers job refferals for ex-offenders, but dead ends after collecting personal info for 'educational training'

These 'schools' offer nothing more than community colleges and vocational schools, but are much (MUCH) more expensive.

(They) offer 'easy financing', are quick to sign anyone, and sometimes are not accredited.

These scams are preying on the obsequious circumstance ex-offenders often find themselves in.

Anonymous said...

Randy. Thank you. My eyes are opened wider. Much appreciated!

This CCJRC article shows that there are compassionate people with genuine concern.

There IS some hope. I can't thank groups like these enough.

Anonymous said...