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.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Governor's Letter On Sentencing

Governor's Letter on Sentencing


Anonymous said...

To get results he needs to appoint some real people to the commission. My question is how can the state protect people from each other??? Impossible. Save the money and spend it on education.djw

Anonymous said...

You can be sure nothing will ever change. They will study, study, and study this some more until Ritter leaves office!

Anonymous said...

Yep two years later and nothing has been accomplished! Bill - END MANDATORY PAROLE NOW! That will solve easily half of your problems!

Anonymous said...

A review of the broad directions of the so-call reforms can lead to change, but little or no productive reform. Two former DA's suggesting what should be changed and directing the letter to another former DA leaves little or no chance for "real" reform. Close examination suggests a Criminal Justice Industrial Complex "shell game."

Anonymous said...

Mandatory parole is a terrible thing. I could see giving them parole until they finished thier sentence, but giving them 3 yrs mandatory parole is sentencing them to a double senstence. When is this going to stop? I will not stop until people stop making money off of prisoners.

Anonymous said...

The prison sentence, innocent or guilty, having been imprisoned for __
amount of time is only the tip of the iceberg. Mandatory parole is not release. It is extended incarceration with technical 'violations' destroying the prisoners chances for life back into society. That is 1) incarcerate prisoner 2) publicly subjugate the ("realeased") incarcerated prisoner through mandatory parole, and now add the label society puts on these people. No sustainable jobs or occupations, rent, housing, license; the list is alarmingly endless. This does not provide for a hopeful entry into society when society itself is permitted to discrimate right along with the foul laws that encourage alienating these prisoners-for-life. Mandatory parole IS double jeopardy. It is upheld because it is profitable. Recidivism is expected and demanded in Colorado. It further harms the felon-for-life, and profits the few in positions that provide upper-class lifestyles for them and theirs only.


Barney said...

Governor Ritter campaigned on the premise that he was going to do away with mandatory parole, tremendously increase the number of inmates released early (discretionary parole), decrease the rate of recidivism, promote the use of rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration for more drug offenders, reduce the number of prisons and prisoners, etc, etc, etc. Since being elected in November of 2007, Governor Ritter has fulfilled NONE of the aforementioned campaign promises. Although the crime rate has gone down or remained level in all areas, our jail and prison populations continue to climb steadily. Colorado has the 2nd highest rate of recidivism in the 50 states. Although we have build no new prisons in the past couple of years, we have made huge additions and added thousands of bed spaces to the existing facilities (example, Bent County more than doubled it's bed space last year). In May of 2007, 500 inmates were released on discretionary release. Last month, only 248 inmates were given early release from Colorado prisons. While our prison bed space/facilities continue to increase, I have seen no new facilities for rehabilitation efforts in the state. Parolees are still only given a $100 gate check when they exit prison on which to exist until they are able to obtain adequate income and housing. How far does $100 go toward housing, food, clothing, fines, rehabilitation, and transportation? One day....then what? Little wonder they get in trouble again. It is called survival, not crime, at that point. They are then returned to prison for petty offenses or techinical violations. They are set up to fail and have very little chance for success. The only chance most have for success is somone else on the outside making it for them (ie providing money, shelter, transportaion, etc.).
Now that Governor Ritter's popularity rates are down and re-election is coming around, he wants to jump on the bandwagon with the same promises he made before and never fulfilled.
What little has been done to assist in these efforts has not been accomplished by Governor Ritter. He has jumped on the bandwagon with regards to funding for Access to Recovery and The Second Chance Act. Both are Federal programs to assist in rehabilitaion and re-entry for inmates. Neither is promoted, created, funded, or backed by Ritter, except for him to put his name on them once they reached Colorado doorsteps. Ritter did nothing to bring them about. He says he now wants to study this and that. "This and that" were the things he promised to change before he was elected. He has done absolutely NOTHING to change any of them. He cites in his letter "legisltive changes in 2009". What legislative changes is he referring to and what was his imput, if any? First of all, I know of none and he conveniently cites none. Secondly, I have seen nothing printed about his efforts to reform the penal system in Colorado. It's just more lip service. Don't believe it until, or unless, your see it (which I am relatively sure you will not).
We need action not talk!!!!!!!!!

Adam said...

Barney. You are right on target! What does this say about Ritter? Self-serving. He is NOT about reform or rehabilitation of any kind. He is on the side of more and more frivolous incarcerations. What should we expect of a prosecutor?

Those interested in opposing Ritter on the ballot should take note. Ritter needs to be gone.

Never, NEVER vote an individual in knowing his/her past as a prosecutor.

Anonymous said...