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.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Final 2008 Report From The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission

Letter from Commission Chair Peter Weir
The creation of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice is an
acknowledgement of the need for fundamental public policy changes in Colorado’s
juvenile and criminal justice systems. Establishing the Commission to focus on this
need for change, while ensuring public safety, reflects the vision and the expectations
of Governor Ritter and the General Assembly.
The challenges facing Colorado are not unique. Many states are addressing similar
issues. In particular, recidivism rates continue to increase the size of our jail and
prison populations. We must reduce these rates without compromising public safety.
Research shows that the “return on investment” of each public safety dollar directed
to incarceration decreases in effectiveness as the prison population expands unless the
focus of incarceration is frequent and violent criminals.
Today, being tough on crime means we must be smarter about crime. The judicious
use of resources requires evidence-based data to drive decision-making. In this way,
criminal justice funds will be directed to programs and systems interventions that are
proven to work. For many offenders, this will result in breaking the revolving door of
our penitentiaries. This will also ensure adequate funding to appropriately target
frequent and violent offenders.
There are a myriad of challenges that experts contend contribute to criminal behavior.
Mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of education, poor employment
skills, homelessness, transportation obstacles, and inadequate family support are but a
few of the factors that feed the criminal justice system. The Commission was formed
with the recognition that multidisciplinary approaches to these issues are essential.
Because of this, the Commission consists of experts with wide and varied
Access Report Here


Anonymous said...

If you want to bury an issue in Colorado, like Ritter has done, you refer it to a committee of 30 members. This committee's recommendations are DEAD ON ARRIVAL at the legislature. No representative wants to be seen as "soft on crime".
We have to attack this issue on where it hurts the most, the budget. We spend $30,000 per year on 23,000 prisoners in our state prisons. Along with new, unneeded prison construction, it totals up to a BILLION dollars per year. Imagine what our education and health systems could do with just half that money.
We have to CLOSE half the prisons and get prisoners into rehab programs where they will not return to crime. That is a tall order, but we must stop this insanity NOW! mpc

Anonymous said...