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.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Racial Fairness Gaining Ground in Justice System

Mark Mauer from the Sentencing Project has this editorial in the Baltimore Sun
Nearly a million African-Americans are incarcerated in prisons and jails, and a black male born today has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, if current trends continue. People of good will disagree about the causes of these dramatic figures. Competing explanations include high rates of involvement in crime, differential rates of prosecution through the "war on drugs," racial profiling and inadequate family support. In fact, there is a good deal of documentation to support each of these contentions as at least a part of the explanation for the disparity.

While the numbers are distressing, the good news is that there are growing efforts among policymakers at the federal and state level to provide constructive approaches to sort out the causes and address them.

Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Delaware Democrat, and Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, have just introduced the bipartisan Justice Integrity Act, which aims to address the important issue of unwarranted disparity within the federal criminal justice system.
Baltimore Sun