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, October 20, 2008

Utah Prison Inmates Building Homes For State

Utah prison inmates building homes for state
October 14th, 2008 @ 10:05pm
By Lori Prichard

The State of Utah is now in the business of building and selling homes, in the hopes of providing those homes to lower- and middle-income families. The catch is some of those homes are being built by prison inmates.

Thirty-one-year-old Ervin Brafford showed off the one thing he's most proud of: a house. "Because when you get there, it's a dirt path. And at the end of it, you've got this," Brafford explained.

It's a 5-bedroom, 2-bath house in Salt Lake that a group of inmates from the Utah State Prison built. The prison system, along with the state-run Utah Housing Corporation, teamed up to build homes to offer them to lower-income families.

"We're in partnership in building affordable homes. We provide the kind of service that's just not done in the private sector," said Grant Whitaker, senior vice president of the Utah Housing Corporation.

Here's how it works: Inmates, like Brafford, who are on their way to being paroled are paid $1.50 an hour. Once the house is built, Utah Housing Corporation sells the home at a below-market mortgage rate to lower- and middle-income families.

"The equity is passed on to the homeowner by a lower mortgage amount," said Scott Harmon, housing program manger for the Utah Housing Coporation.

That means the buyer of the house will likely get $40,000 instant equity -- equity gained from paying these guys well below the $20 an hour they would otherwise get.

Brafford says that's OK with him. "I really enjoyed doing it. I learned so much. I get really excited. I think my boss is sick of hearing it because I ask a million and one questions," he said.

Brafford says the days of "sneaking his way by" are over. This house helped him turn his life around.

The house is just over 1,800 square feet and is being sold for just under $240,000. If you'd like more information, you can contact the Utah Housing Corporation at (801) 902-8200 or via e-mail by clicking here.


Real Cost Of Prisons


Anonymous said...

Amazing. The "correctional facilities" are closet concentration camps.

So. The unfortante inmate, who will forever be branded a felon, gets enthusiastic over $1.50 an hour. Meanwhile, this is taking away the construction expertise for wages at or above $20.00 an hour. This is worse than sending careers overseas.

Then again, the equity goes up unreasonably, therefore pocketing the linings of those corporate dongs that make a million or more a year.

Once again I see the profiteering. Inmates lose, corporate giants rake it in.

What occupation is next in line for racketeering at $1.50 an hour or less? If eyes are not wide open on this one, anything goes.

As long as people are NOT willing to see the genuine deception and greed behind the slave labor camps, America is going to become (very quickly) a 3rd world country.

The psychology is chilling. It is psychotic.

The poor and disadvantaged get deeper into being controlled, while the rich get richer to the point of being obscene. It's nauseating.

There is no honor in any of this unless the laws were to grant all 'felons' equal pay AND have their felony records expunged. The discrimination will still haunt them in every area of life upon so-called release.

These men and women can build homes, but can't BUY one. They can't rent; employment is severely limited to minimum wage; education denied; no access to health coverage --- the list is endless.

Please. Think about this article and its implications beyond what merely appears progressive. The question is: who REALLY benefits?



Anonymous said...