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, June 21, 2009

Greene: No Second Chance For Jailed Kids

The Denver Post

Bill Ritter must have figured we wouldn't pay attention.

Nearly two years after creating the country's first juvenile clemency board, it appears the panel he packed mostly with law enforcers hasn't recommended a single applicant even for a reduced sentence.

Ritter won praise for promising a shot at a second chance for inmates sentenced as kids to life without parole.

Now his pledge seems as hollow as his promises for sentencing reform. Just a bunch of fair-minded words, he must have reckoned, before we forgot and moved on to his next happy press release.

"I don't think he ever intended to reform anything. What's the point of his board other than to solidify that he thinks everything's OK with a system that locks kids up forever?" says Jennifer Jones of Denver, whose brother was one of the most compelling applicants.

Trevor Jones was 17 when he made the mistake of trying to scam a kid out of $100 by selling him a gun and then taking it back. He fired a single shot — accidentally, he claims — that killed Matthew Foley, 16.

Denver charged Jones with first-degree murder, but the jury found him guilty on a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter. Because Foley died during a robbery, prosecutors won a "felony murder" conviction and mandatory life sentence.

Jones, now 30, has served 13 years without a single prison write-up or disciplinary action. He has taken correspondence courses in Greek, Latin and philosophy. He writes letters urging


Anonymous said...

I read the entire article. It is well worth reading it and pondering the lies that Ritter and the DOC spew consistently.

Electing Bill Ritter as governor was one of the worst decisions the people of Colorado made. I'm not just talking about the area of DOC, he has lied to the people to get elected on false pretenses. He does not support justice in any area of law or fianancial relief to the people of Colorado. He is very much an elitist who is gratified with his sense of personal advancement.

I hope people see through his deceptions. They are many, and they are harming not only you, but your children also.

One of the so-called concerns is budget. The Department of Corrections is an area that could be so very well managed if reform were applied as promised. The truth is, Ritter and his cohorts do not want reform. More incarcerations is to his (their) personal advantage, not Coloradoans. Ritter would never want to lose hold on the super-max constructions and its overload in occupancy. In order to keep Colorado on the prison dock as one of the highest incarceration states, the low-level, excessive sentencing and wrongful conviction rates must remain in place. All truth in justice be damned as well as any real concern and actions about balancing any budgets that would honorably serve the people instead of his own personal bank account.

When Colorado strongly votes in a governor with integrity, the narcissists he puts into positions of management (and further the harms people) will lose their power to shred Colorado's progression. We need a governor who is honest and fair, no matter what political affiliation. Character is what counts.

Bill Ritter must go. His ties to the democratic party is a guise. If we were to scrutinize and pay attention, we would recognize the betrayals of fascism.

Anonymous said...

icouldnt agree more, Ritter betrayed all who voted for him. He needs to become a one term governor and not get anymore state paying jobs. djw