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, April 21, 2009

New Earned Time Bill - 1351

HB 1351 (this is an easy bill to read)

Basically what this bill does is lift the 25% cap. It allows for a one time 60 day deduction of a sentence for non-violent offenders and it increases good time from 10 to 12 days a month.

The Sentencing Bill was changed to a study.


DENVER— Today, Senators John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), Morgan Carroll
(D-Aurora), and Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) announced a plan to offer a strike-below amendment to SB 286, the Sentencing Reform Bill. SB 286, sponsored by Senators Morse and Carroll in the Senate, was introduced last week and will be heard in Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 1:30p.

In an effort to come up with long-term solutions to the state’s current budget problem, the Senators agreed to work closely with the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) to fix our budget problems as it pertains to the correctional system in Colorado while at the same time keeping Colorado safe. The strike-below will require the CCJJ to look into sentencing reform and come back to the legislature with suggestions by a date to be determined. More details about this amendment will be available tomorrow.

Senate Majority Leader Brandon Shaffer made the following remarks at a 12:30 rally today on the West Steps. The United States has always stood for democracy and freedom, and essential to that freedom is our judicial system. Public safety and justice are equal priorities in this state and in an effort to preserve fairness and public safety for all Coloradans, we introduced SB 286, but we realized that with a little more than two weeks left in the session this topic needs more discussion. We will ask the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to look at sentencing reform and come back to the legislature in a timely manner with proposed
solutions. We need the best policies and the best long term solutions
for our budget problems, including sentence reform.

Senator John Morse is the Senate sponsor of 286 and the former Fountain police chief. To be clear: sentencing reform is not synonymous with sentence reductions, said Sen. Morse. Reform means just that: making changes to our correctional system to help it run more efficiently and to keep Colorado safe. All of us involved, the Governor, the DAs, the public defender, the victims groups, and the legislators, will make sure we are doing the right thing for our citizens, our budget, for our correctional system, and for Colorado.

Senator Morgan Carroll was the Senate co-sponsor of 286. 1 in 29 Coloradans are under correctional control and 74% of the prison population is serving for non-violent offenses, making corrections now the 3rd largest segment of Colorado's budget, said Sen. Carroll. It is critical that we continue to push for sentencing reform that makes the smartest policy choices based on evidence of what actually works and keeps us safe.

Every dollar we spend in corrections means a dollar we aren't spending on early childhood education, higher education, health care, mental health, economic development, or transportation. We owe it to the citizens of Colorado to at least make sure we are spending their tax dollars wisely."


A Mom of a former inmate said...

That is right for every dollar that we spend to create indivuals that are ready to reenter society and be useful individuals we don't spend on education or welfare. These are people that need to have some help to get back into society, we can not continue to treat them as lost human beings. We must take a stand to work with these individuals or continue to watch as more and more of our society lives in prisons, jails or half-way houses.

Anonymous said...