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, November 17, 2008

Prisoners Building Homes For Habitat

This is the type of program that should be happening in every community. This is a program that teaches real world skills and helps real world people.

RIFLE, Colorado — Julio Ramirez has some experience in construction, and he’s using those skills to help build the first Habitat for Humanity home in Rifle.

He spends all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays working on the home with a crew of about seven other men before he goes home.

But home for Ramirez, and the rest of his crew, is the Rifle Correctional Center — at least for the time being.

“I do a little bit of everything — whatever needs to be done — siding, cement work, framing...,” Ramirez said. “I look forward to it. I like doing the work, and it’s for a good cause — it’s a home for two families.”

The community labor program is a win-win situation for both the community and the inmates themselves, according to Dave Scherbarth, associate warden at RCC.

“First and foremost, we are here to protect the public,” Scherbarth said. “But we believe we can have inmates in the community safely.”

No sex offenders are allowed at the RCC facility.

RCC is a 192-bed minimum security prison located eight miles north of the city of Rifle and part of the state Department of Corrections system. Along with community labor, it also offers inmates secondary education, vocational training and a reintegration program to successfully reintroduce inmates back into society upon their release. The prison is also home to a certified firefighting crew, which has responded to wildfires all over the state.

Glenwood Springs Independent


Anonymous said...

Finding myself in near agreement with CCJRC's views, concerns and solution regarding Colorado's injustice system, I felt compeled to speak out briefly now that I have come across a point of oposition. i fully agree with the notion that building homes for Habitat for Humanity is an extremely worthwhile, rewarding, and community benefitin goal. Noble is another word that comes to my mind. However, we must be careful to remember that when judging the acceptableness of a given set of actions that we refrain from allowing the ends however worthwhile and noble from justifying the means. Using inmates to build homes is just one more opportunity for the DOC and by extension the state of Colorado to pursue a policy of modern slavery. If we are to drastically resuce the number of people warehoused in Colorado we must oppose all sources of demand. This is one of those sources.

Anonymous said...