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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.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adams County Inmate Dies From Suicide Attempt

The Denver Post

A 37-year-old woman who hanged herself in an Adams County jail cell died today from her injuries, the Adams County Sheriff's Department said.

The inmate was identified as Kristie Hawkes of Thornton, who was facing multiple charges in several jurisdictions.

She was found at about 9:20 p.m. Monday by her cellmate, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Adams County authorities said an investigation into Hawkes' death is currently underway, but foul play is not suspected.

Sgt. Candi Baker, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department, said that Hawkes was housed in a sleeping room that faced an open area with chairs and televisions for women at the Adams County Detention Center.

Baker said that during the day, deputies rarely go into the area. However, after lockdown at 10 p.m., deputies check the sleeping rooms every 15 minutes.

The sleeping rooms have doors that lock at 10 p.m.

Baker said that Hawkes' cellmate had been in the common or open area and returned to the sleeping room to find that Hawkes had hung herself.


Anonymous said...

the article doesnt say what this person had done. Obviously, probably nothing violent. Most likely a non violent person. It seems that our haste to lock everyone up is a terrible mistake and only satisfy's the egoes of DA's who need to be sent back to school. No one should be locked up that are non violent.
Our sherriff's dept's could operate at a fraction of the cost if we returned our justice system to the PEOPLE like it used to be. The legislatures have made what used to be misdeameanor offenses, felonys. Why??? I would say so the attorneys could find more work!!! In todays world if you dont have money to hire a 300 dollar an hour attorney, you will probably end up in prison for a non violent offense.djw

Anonymous said...

I am the niece of Kristie Hawkes and she was not in jail for any sort of violent crime... The charges she was facing were things such as traffic violations and things of that nature... She was a bright and happy person and she will be sorely missed by all of her family and friends... which of course is not something that they tell you in any of these articles because her family was not contacted to make sure that it was ok to print anything about her...
So keep that in mind before any of you want to judge because we all loved her and are in mourning. The justice system is sometimes very ridiculous and should definately change some things... When someone is in jail no matter what the charge someone is facing they are supposed to be protected by the police officers on duty and this just goes to show that they dont do their job as well as everyone thinks...

Katelynn Baker(niece of Kristie Hawkes)

Unknown said...

Katelynn, my heaetfelt sympathies go out to you and your family at your loss. I also do not know how long she had been incarcerated or what kind of punishment she ws looking at, but I know the system incarcerates so many, many persons who should not be incarcerated (and definitely who should not die), as a result of their "crimes".
While the crime rates remain level or go down, our inmate population continues to skyrocket. Why? It is about money. The penal system is reportedly the 3rd largest revenue generating "business" in this country. Actions that were not even crimes 10 years ago are sending hordes of people to prison. I am talking about things like "possession of organic mushrooms". That was not a crime 10 years ago. Now, it is a class 4 felony, punishable by 2-6 years in prison. DUR now sends people to prison, people who are trying to go to work and make a living and support families. The system wants to take driving priviledges away from citizens for little of nothing and then hang them for driving without a license, but givieng them little or no optioins but to violate.
All of that is bad enough, but once they have gone down for a felony, their entire lives are ruined and they play hell ever getting out of the system or living a normal life. That ight explain suicide attempts. For seenmingly small, non-violent crimes, the lives of violators and those who love them are destroyed. It's out of control.

Anonymous said...

thank you for a call back on this article and i would also like to thank you for not posting everything that the original article had said... I really appreciate the call you were very nice to me on the phone...

Katelynn Baker
(Kristies niece)

Anonymous said...