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, October 05, 2008

DOC Stays In The Springs - OPINION

The Colorado Department of Corrections has decided to stay put in Colorado Springs, even though Pueblo tried to lure the agency with a generous $1.5 million handout.

There's an important lesson in this, for Pueblo and Colorado Springs: Handouts are unnecessary, and they usually don't work. In some cases, requests for corporate relocation handouts and tax breaks are nothing more than a scam. Genuine, sustainable business considerations are what determine the location of businesses and organizations.

The Colorado DOC is a key player in our relatively small country's dubious accomplishment of incarcerating more people than any other country on Earth - more than even China and India, which dwarf us in size. As part of this ever-expanding prison industrial complex, the Colorado DOC needs to expand its headquarters. No matter what's going on with the markets, we can count on the public/private incarceration industry to grow and drain the economy at tremendous taxpayer expense.

The expanding prison population in Colorado and the rest of the country is nothing other than pure economic drain. Every human put behind bars represents an enormous cost liability. Little is produced beyond state license plates, in some locations, and much is lost.

As prisoners rot behind bars, their families often end up on public assistance. Their children suffer neglect and some become lifelong public liabilities. It's an endless and growing cycle of debt, motivated mostly by expedient "tough on crime" politics and economic ignorance. Yes, violent criminals belong behind bars. But our country's prison obsession isn't about safety, it's mostly about money.

The Gazette


Anonymous said...

This is an excellent article. Is this the opinion of Pam Clifton and Christie Donner? So very well said!

"Tough on crime" is really "tough, too bad" to the accused. The win is far more important than the detail in truth. Personal bias and emotions rule the courts despite the constitution.

For instance, what constitutes a $500,000,000.00 (half a million dollar bail)? I could give the exact date and incident. The only thing I will say at this point is that someone on the bench actually did this. And, NO, it was not murder, not a sex crime. (I am not judging here.) Each felony has its limitations BY LAW. The 8th amendment is very clear on excessive bail. Judges KNOW this to be true.

Check the files. WHO gets that gargantuan amount in bail? NO ONE! Yet it happened to one very young person.

Please. Describe JUSTICE & FAIRNESS.

Anonymous said...

Correction above: $500,000.00 bail. Half a million.

Under the 8th amendment of the constitution (going into depth), there are limitations to all levels of felonies.

This one went WAY overboard.

Anonymous said...

The Colorado Judicial system seems to have their own set of laws. I know of a man who was walking out the door, bail had been set and recieved and processed and the "victim's" family threw a hissy fit and had the bail revoked, the accused's attorney had 20 minutes notice to get to court. Bails bond person had never witnessed this in 27 years in the business.

But as the appealete court judges stated "they found no prejudice towards this defendant".

No one is innocent until proven guilty in this country anymore!!!!

Especially not in Colorado!!!

Anonymous said...