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.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Colorado's Budget Signed Into Law

Business Journal

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday signed into law a $19.2 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, a document drawn up only after closing a roughly $1.4 billion two-year budget deficit and calling upon businesses to make several sacrifices to help the state’s fiscal situation.

The budget, though reduced drastically from what Ritter proposed in November, still protects higher education, health care and human services, emphasized the Democratic governor and members of the Joint Budget Committee at a news conference.

But it is balanced as required under state law and was passed with the most bipartisan agreement, at least among House members, that the Legislature has seen in several years, its authors said.

“It’s been a rough year ... It’s been like trying to carry water in a sieve, and we had to make a lot of decisions quickly,” said Rep. Jack Pommer, a Boulder Democrat and vice chairman of the Joint Budget Committee. “All in all, it was just about the best we could do. Let’s hope next year is a little better.”

The budget balance was reached partially by cutting some $200 million in state services, pulled from departments ranging from higher education to natural resources.

Sen. Moe Keller, a Wheat Ridge Democrat and JBC chairwoman, said the Department of Corrections was hardest hit after the state closed a women’s prison and delayed the opening of another long-planned maximum-security facility while making department workers take pay cuts.


Anonymous said...

Uh-huh. Budget. Throw it ALL onto the families of the incarcerated. Twisted, maniacal characters.

Our 20 minute calls just went up AGAIN from $5.11 + .36 tax = $5.47 _to_ $6.35 + .44 = $6.79. That is an increase PER call PER inmate of $1.32. ADD THAT UP. That is one hell of a profit. DOC is corporate crime.

No one knows the crap this government does to the people better than those involved in the criminal system. I left out the word *justice* before "system" for a damn good reason. There IS NONE.

Anonymous said...

For the record: the excessive costs in the prison canteens and high rates of phone calls have nothing to do with a DOC budget. All money sent to our loved ones that are incarcerated have 20% automatically taken out FOR THEIR OWN PROFIT. $100.00 will only net $80.00. Where is this immense amount of money going? In the pockets of criminal executives?

On top of the 20% taken, there is a $5.95 fee for each deposited amount. With VAC, the phone company, there is a $7.95 fee for each amount deposited.

Ask the workers who have been forced to take a pay cut among other removed benefits. This doesn't only affect the employees, it affects the efficiency in the prisons.

Folks, there IS NO economic downfall in DOC. People are being used, abused and lied to.

Pamela Clifton and Christie Donner said...

The 20% goes to restitution and child support. I actually checked to make sure that it happened when they were taking my 20% out for restitution. The phone charges are completely out of control though. Does anyone have any idea how much it costs to call someone collect these days?

Anonymous said...

I was incarcerated for 8 1/2 years, during which time my mother basically paid my restitution through the 20% taken out of the money she sent me. She is innocent of any wrong-doing, yet paid the penalty! Also, I know of a husband who was considered to be the victim of a particular crime by the wife. He sent her in money on a regular basis (with permission), effectively paying off and receiving the same restitution!
I called collect to Denver from Pueblo on a regular basis -- my family said it cost about $16.00 for twenty minutes. This was about six months ago,although I don't know what carrier they had. Other people I know said it cost their people much less, so I don't know what plan my family was using.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous. The 20% 'restitution' is simply another way of making money. I don't believe for one moement that this amount is paid for restitution. It is pocketed. The longer the incarcerated remain in prison, the more money is in it for THEM. Families are victims and the prosecutors and judges wring their hands in glee, including Ritter.

Ritter can't hold a candle to Governor Bill Richardson. It is these political and financial beneficiaries who are the emotionally and criminally depraved in Colorado. I would highly suggest anyone who is reading this from another state, NEVER consider moving here. Hell, don't even visit. You will be an easy target for some trumped-up charges and wish you'd have taken the advice.

New Mexico is a great state to move to. Truly enchanting and well worth it. Compassion most certainly isn't lacking in New Mexico!

What about all of these fees? Fees for what? To process more fees? Of course.

One moment it's pro-life, the next it's pro-death in this hypocritical state. Note the double standards and hypocrisy. It makes no difference to these political thugs if an innocent person is in prison or put to death.

Get rid of CCJJ people. Strong warning.

There is a God.

Anonymous said...