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.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Staffing New Prison A Daunting Task

While Colorado has begun construction on a new 320-bed super maximum security prison, public officials are still wondering how it will be staffed adequately under a sluggish economy and a statewide hiring freeze.

Colorado State Penitentiary II (CSP II) is set to be completed by 2010 to assist in detaining what both law enforcement members and civil liberties advocates agree is a swelling inmate population.

But staffing the new prison could prove problematic during hard financial times when the state is trying to save money.

In September, following the national banking crisis, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter ordered the state to halt new construction projects and the hiring of new employees.

So far the hiring freeze only applies only to the 2008-09 financial year, and even if it was extended, there are provisions making budgetary exceptions for public safety projects such as the prison, which will be located in Cañon City.

“Still, it’s going to be a very daunting task in the state’s budget to staff all of CSP II, certainly,” said Rep. Buffie McFadyen, a Democrat from Fremont County where the prison will be located. “Especially since I’m not sure if we’ve completed staffing back before the last recession in 2001-02.”

Colorado experienced a 400 percent increase in the state’s prison population from 1985 to 2005, and since the beginning of the decade the population increased by nearly 7 percent from approximately 16,000 inmates in 2000 to 23,000 in 2008 (PDF), according to state reports.


The Colorado Independent

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you will all take a close look at why Colorado's prison population exploded, was politicaly accomplished by changes in sentencing and the big drug push. All can be layed at the feet of your ex governor Owen. Of course all has to be layed at the feet of PUBLIC SAFETY. How can non violent crime be a public safety issue??? They arent, so why not let them lose and quit listening to the false information DOC puts out all the time.
Then look at the sentence's your judges hand out. Example, 6 years for writing a letter to a public official, (wasnt threatening harm). I thought we all had a constitutional right to express ourselves even under the Colorado State Constitution.
This is just one person who was clobbered by the Judge???? If i were governor i would pull all the records of the non-violent and get them on the way home.djw

Anonymous said...

The DOC claims that the supermax prison has been planned for years and is intended to "threaten" those prisoners who misbehave in the prison system and who they cannot adequately "manage". Unfortunately, with some 23,000 inmates, they do not look at people, just numbers. If they were to look at those who are currently in supermax 1, they have a few violent inmates, who should be there, but then others, who are sick of serving their time in the segregated, drug ridden, and mentally abusive "normal" prisons and get sent there for no really good reason other than they have the beds available. My friend, Daniel Clark #116663, committed 37 incidents at Limon, such as setting off the smoke alarm and talking back to the COs so he was sent to CSP. He was diagnosed with ADHD and BiPolar. He needed medical and drug treatment. He overdosed on heroin last Christmas and died 4 days after serving 5 years in the DOC prison system.

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