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, November 02, 2008

Locking Down Rising Prison Costs

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gov. Bill Ritter wants to spend $10.6 million over the next two years in hopes of saving $380 million in prison costs in the coming five years.

Spending a little to save a lot is nearly always a sensible notion, so long as the anticipated savings are real and not pie-in-the-sky.

The vast majority of the savings in the governor’s prison reform program would come from one source — not building the planned $336 million addition to the state’s Trinidad Correctional Facility. That’s not pie-in-the-sky or smoke-and-mirrors savings. That’s real steel, bricks and concrete, the money for which wouldn’t be spent.

To achieve that, Ritter’s plan aims at reducing recidivism — crimes committed by those recently released from prison — which has been creeping up in Colorado in the past few years. It also calls for more prevention programs for troubled youths, and more diversion and substance-abuse programs for people convicted.

The goal is to reverse the forecast of 4,444 new state inmates in the next five years, and actually reduce the prison population by 521 inmates in that time.

That’s an unquestionably ambitious goal. But such programs are not without precedent. Here in Mesa County, a program to treat methamphetamine addicts, rather than sending them immediately to jail, has helped stem the growth in the county jail population. And, when 80 percent of people in state prisons are known to have substance-abuse problems, dealing with addiction clearly must be a top priority.

Grand Junction Sentinel


Anonymous said...

Govenor Ritters plan is a small step in the right direction. Now he needs to change the approach of the dept of corrections, correction approach and attitude. The policys of doc clearly arent to help people get out of prison, but to keep them there. djw

Anonymous said...

The Parole Board chairman must be replaced. He only follows what his fellow board members say that they have done in the past. They are playing games with people's lives, giving them "discretionary" releases, but not until their Must Release Dates.
Parole Officers are totally inhumane and only seek to put people who they believe are all gang members and leaches on society back into prison. They get personal rewards and accolodes for putting people back into prison.
The DOC needs to revamp half the prisons to be state run rehabilitation centers. Unfortunately the model of contract private providers is a horrible experiment.mpc

Anonymous said...