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.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jeffco Releases Inmate Plan

Nothing like a bad economy to start real discussions on reform..

The Denver Post

Jefferson County has applied for federal stimulus money to expand an inmate pretrial release program, frustrating some bail bondsmen who see their livelihood threatened.

The proposed pilot program will increase the number of inmates who can get out of jail without putting up cash, while placing more responsibility on the county to not only monitor them, but make sure they show up for court.

A judge will determine what type of bond — cash, surety, property, personal recognizance — to grant an inmate after hearing recommendations from bond commissioners, who interview inmates about their jobs, family, and mental and physical health.

County justice planners say releasing inmates considered low flight and public-safety risks would save taxpayers money, and may also keep dangerous but wealthier inmates in jail or saddled with more supervision — something beyond what a bail bondsman does.

"The intention is that no one will get out of jail without seeing a judge," said Tom Giacinti, the county's director of justice services. "Bail bondsmen served a noble purpose for a long time, but public safety is really our main concern now, and the decision to release someone should rest with the court."

Jail costs about $100 a day, while pretrial supervision is roughly $1 per day, Giacinti said. Additionally, 40 percent of the 1,300 people in the county jail are pretrial inmates. Projections indicate the policy could free up as many as 300 beds, some of which could be used by federal prisoners attending court dates in the area. Last year, the county raked in $3.7 million from the federal government for temporarily housing those prisoners.

But Colorado bondsman Steve Mares said the county's program would end up costing taxpayers more money in tracking down defendants who don't show up for court. Unlike the county, bondsmen send out bounty hunters at their own expense.


Anonymous said...

to the bondsman, non violent offenders who dont show up for a court appearance will be caught sooner or later because there will be a warrant issued by a judge for failure to appear. In the meantime there is no public safety issue as that idividual is non violent. Meantime were not clogging the county jails. Question for Bondsman Mares, couldnt you find a more productive way to make a living for yourself, and are you related to Attorney Cynthia Mares who draws a salary from the Attorney regulation counsel which is also a do nothing organization???djw

Anonymous said...