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 01, 2008

States Act To Reduce Disparity

Colorado passed HB 1119 Reducing racial disparity in criminal justice system (CCJRC priority/support): Requires the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to study and make recommendations for the reduction of racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Governor M. Jodi Rell (R-CT) signed legislation which will require examination of the racial and ethnic impact of new sentencing laws prior to passage. It provides a means for legislators to anticipate any unwarranted disparities and enables them to consider alternative policies to accomplish the goals of legislation without causing undue negative effects on public safety.

"Just as fiscal impact statements help policymakers assess the effects of proposed policies, so will racial impact statements allow us to anticipate any unintended consequences of criminal justice policy,” said Representative Michael Lawlor, chair of the House Judiciary Committee in Connecticut. “By doing so, we will enhance the fairness and credibility of the criminal justice system."

Connecticut has one of the nation's highest rates of racial disparity among its incarcerated population; blacks are confined at 12 times the rate of their white counterparts. The differences in incarceration may signal a failure to address social and economic problems within some communities and can indicate bias within the justice system. The consequences for affected communities are disproportionate rates of voter disenfranchisement, unemployment, and disassociation among its citizens.


The Sentencing Project

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again the politicians are looking in the wrong direction. The main reason blacks are locked up at a much higher rate is because of the poor quality of the attorneys who, (in Colorado)are appointed by the court to defend them. Of course there is bias within the justice system. Blacks on average have less education, and less money because of it.djw

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