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 12, 2008

Grand Junction: No Plan To Stake Out Voting Centers

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A mean-spirited flier that started circulating last month over the Internet and in one U.S. city shouldn’t cause alarm for local residents heading to polling booths, local law enforcement says.

The pamphlets, found in Philadelphia last week, claim undercover police will be at polling stations during Election Day in an attempt to arrest voters who are wanted on warrants or to demand payment for unpaid tickets.

That claim is false, and it appears to be a poor attempt to scare people into not voting, local law enforcement said.

“It’s not our goal to interrupt the voting process,” Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said. “We won’t do anything around voting centers to try to identify felons.”

The fliers that were distributed around a black neighborhood in Philadelphia say the author was informed by a supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama to clear up outstanding warrants and unpaid tickets before voting. On Election Day, the flier says, undercover police will be at polling stations to arrest residents wanted on warrants or to place locks on vehicles of voters with unpaid traffic tickets.

According to Snopes.com, a Web site that investigates rumors, the flier is false and is considered an attempt to intimidate voters from casting ballots for Obama.

Grand Junction Police Department officer T.J. Rix said the department has no plans to stake out voting centers.

“It’s something I’ve never seen or even heard about,” Rix said of the fliers. “We don’t have a plan for a proactive approach.”

In Colorado, felons can vote if they are not in prison or are on parole. People on probation and serving community-based sentences can vote. Also, inmates in jail on misdemeanor charges or who are awaiting trial can vote.

Only one inmate at Mesa County Jail this year requested an absentee ballot to vote, Hilkey said. Jail staff distributes information each year about inmates’ rights to vote and offers absentee voting applications, he added.

Grand Junction Sentinel