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, April 30, 2009

White House Calls On Congress To Equalize Sentencing

The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration joined a federal judge Wednesday in urging Congress to end a racial disparity by equalizing prison sentences for dealing and using crack versus powdered cocaine.

"Jails are loaded with people who look like me," U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, an African-American, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said the administration believes Congress' goal "should be to completely eliminate the disparity" in the two forms of cocaine.

"A growing number of citizens view it as fundamentally unfair," Breuer testified.

It takes 100 times more powdered cocaine than crack cocaine to trigger the same harsh mandatory minimum sentences. Congress enacted the disparity during an epidemic of crack cocaine in the 1980s, with lawmakers assuming that violence would be greater among those using crack.

Breuer said the best way to deal with violence is to punish anyone who commits a violent offense, regardless of the drug involved. The Associated Press