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, February 19, 2009

Conn: Alderman Vote To Ban The Box

Yale Daily News

The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a proposed ordinance that will end what it terms “unfair discrimination” against former convicts on government employment forms.

The board voted 22-1 for the ordinance — a progressive piece of legislation colloquially referred to as “Ban the Box” that legislators from many cities across the nation are currently pursuing. It expunges question 5a, which requires that applicants include notice of their prior convictions, from city-related job application forms. The legislation also removes the question from job application forms at vendors that have contracts with the city.

Although one alderman expressed concern about the policy’s potential burden on small businesses, representatives from state reentry organizations and ex-felons who sat in the aldermanic chambers applauded the vote and said they hope the legislation will be replicated on the state and federal levels.

“This legislation will not give any special advantage on hiring an ex-offender,” Ward 8 Alderman Michael Smart said. “But it would give them a foot in the door.”

The approval of “Ban the Box” marks the single most substantial New Haven community services reform since the passage of the Elm City Resident Card — a municipal identification card accessible to all residents, including illegal immigrants — in the summer of 2007.

The Human Services Committee of the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously at a public hearing Feb. 3 to approve the ordinance before it was passed to the full board for approval.

At the aldermanic meeting Tuesday, a group of about 20 people, including city residents and state prison reentry reform activists, held signs in support of the legislation (“Give Everyone A Change to Get a Job. Ban the Box!”). They cheered when the board approved the ordinance.

For 31-year-old James Toles, the approval was a moment of quintessential bliss. A convicted felon who spent five months last year in the Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn., Toles said he will definitely apply for a city position with the “Ban the Box” policy because the ordinance “definitely increases my chances.”


Brook said...

Please, oh please, can we do this here in Colorado?

Anonymous said...

This should be done all over the US. Once an inmate has served his sentence and on his release, his record should discharged and cleared. Any other use of it by police or anyone else is nothing more than a form of DOUBLE JEOPARDY. Read the constitution.djw

sharon marsak said...

My son, is doing a 34 year sentence,because of the habitual sentencing laws. he is a non-violent offender,and he has served his prisons terms and is now being punished once agian for the same thing. YES< it is DOUBLE JEOPARDY!!!!!! The mandatory sentencing laws are a way for the prisons to keep their jobs.AND use inmates to PROFIT FROM. ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY< NOT JUSTICE!!!!! SHARON MARSAK- colorado526@centurytel.net

Who's Your Baby Daddy? U will never know. said...

Come on, quit pulling my leg.
What's the catch 22 here? Will I be able to use a degree I received after my release or is this just for the low end of the stick jobs?
Can I use a degree in Management?
I never understood why felons are allowed to educate when they are just turned down after graduation.

Anonymous said...