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, September 01, 2008

Preventative DNA Sought

It is frightening to think that DNA would be processed upon arrest and not on conviction. This is a privacy issue that should not be dismissed to lightly.

James Lyman opened his mouth for the sponge.

Lyman, a 47-year-old convicted felon, was required to provide a DNA sample last month when he was sent to prison.

Jessica Avila, a medical assistant for the Colorado Department of Corrections, swabbed both of Lyman's cheeks and underneath his tongue.

Lyman's DNA will become part of a statewide database containing the genetic fingerprints of convicted felons.

But Lyman's sample was taken more than two decades after his first felony arrest and 16 years after he first served a prison sentence.

Some law enforcement officials say that's too late.

They want Colorado to join about a dozen other states that take DNA samples when a person is arrested instead of waiting until he or she is convicted.

As DNA databases have gained widespread acclaim for identifying the guilty and clearing the innocent, there is an increasing push to use them for something more: preventing crime.

That means taking DNA samples even earlier - at arrest instead of at conviction. About a dozen states already do it, and Colorado could follow suit.


Rocky Mountain News.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cant believe what i am reading?? Colorado, do you not recognize the constitution??? You cant prevent a crime with out violating the constitutional rights of the person.djw

Anonymous said...

Why don't we just swab every baby at birth and store it forever? Why should law enforcement care about constitutional rights? Last week was a good example of how little our rights mean to them.

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