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, July 03, 2008

Single Mom's Poverty Spikes After Welfare Reform

As we look at all the reasons that the prison population has exploded, especially for women. It is important that we do long term assessments of how policy changes affect people, and how do we create a safety net for those who can't comply.

The ranks of poor single mothers have grown since the 1996 welfare overhaul that weakened their safety net, and 30 percent now live with neither job income nor public assistance.

Milwaukee - In 2001, Lisa Craig snuck out of her home in Chicago and boarded a bus for Milwaukee with her three children, leaving behind an abusive husband, a stable job and most of her possessions.

The elimination in 1996 of federal welfare entitlements had its roots here in Wisconsin, where voters in the 1980s were angered over perceptions that poor Chicago "welfare queens" were heading north to take advantage of more generous programs. But Craig headed north because she had family there to help her.

After a short stay with her sister, Craig took her children - aged 1 to 8 - to a homeless shelter. In order to receive a monthly welfare payment of about $600, she entered a three-month training program with the hope of a landing a job at the end of it.

But the training didn't pay off. She didn't find full-time employment until 2006, when she was hired as a retail clerk at Goodwill, which paid enough to cover her $600 rent but not much else. The job lasted only until last November and she has been looking for another since.

Over the years, Craig has made ends meet with the help of Wisconsin Works, or W2, the state's overhauled welfare system. But she is "disenchanted" with the program because it has not lived up to its promise of helping her obtain long-term employment. "They need to come up with something else," she said in an interview.



Anonymous said...

Probably what they need to come up with is a plan to get rid of all there illegal aliens which would make jobs available again!! Colorado should do that as well, then there schools wouldnt be overcrowded, swimming pools, hospital emergency rooms, welfare office's and oh yes, your daily city traffic would be less and the need for more fuel would go away. djw

Anonymous said...

This article has waht to do with Prison???

Jessica said...

As a poor single mom, I'd just like to say that both of you suck. First off, the reason we have so many "illegal aliens" as you so sweetly put it is that us "Americans" stole their land (how many of them are Native American-- duh) and are continuing to steal their resources. Also, if you don't think this has anything to do with prison, don't ever play chess, because you clearly need things spelled out for you in fine detail to understand. You see no connection between poverty and crime??

Anonymous said...