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.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Soros Justice Fellowships

I have recently been approached about a great opportunity so I am spreading the word about the Soros Justice Fellowships, an Open Society Institute (OSI) program that funds outstanding individuals seeking to reform the U.S. criminal justice system. Since its inception in 1997, Soros Justice Fellowships – which fund individuals through two fellowship categories, Advocacy Fellowships and Media Fellowships – have supported over 230 dynamic individuals working at the local, state, and national levels on a wide range of issues.

Each year, OSI funds 15 – 18 fellows through the two fellowship categories. Advocacy Fellowships are 18 months in duration and come with a stipend ranging from $69,750 to $79,500. Media Fellowships are 12 months in duration and come with a stipend of $45,000. Fellows are also eligible to receive payments for health insurance, professional development, and educational loan repayment. In addition to this financial support, fellows have access to a range of technical assistance, including leadership development, communications and fundraising consultations, and supplemental grants.

This year, the application deadline is September 24, 2008. More information on the program, along with the program guidelines and a link to our online application, can be found at: http://www.soros.org/initiatives/usprograms/focus/justice/programs/justice_fellows.

They seek innovative and exciting projects that fit broadly within our criminal justice reform priorities. But just as critically, the program looks for both emerging and seasoned leaders who possess vision, drive, and passion; and who will lend a distinctive and important voice to the struggle for change.

Also, since a majority of Soros Justice Fellowships historically have gone to individuals on the east and west coasts (New York City and California, primarily), they are keenly interested in receiving applications from individuals proposing to work in other parts of the country – places that experience all of the same negative effects associated with the criminal justice system’s over-reliance on incarceration and harsh punishment, and unequal treatment; yet whose advocates and activists have probably not received their fair share of resources to take on these problems.

Whether you forward information about the Soros Justice Fellowships to particular individuals whom you think would be promising candidates or circulate the information more generally, we trust that within your networks there are advocates, activists, and others with distinctive and important voices who would benefit from this opportunity – and who would, in turn, help to strengthen the larger movement for progressive social change.

CCJRC has made significant progress, but none of our accomplishments would have been possible without the support and engagement of our members. You give us a stronger voice to advocate for real change. Your membership donation of any amount helps so much to further the impact and success of CCJRC. Please join us with your membership donation today. Thank you for supporting CCJRC. Together we will continue to do the work that truly makes a difference.