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, June 29, 2009

NY Times: Two Meals and Not Always Square

The New York Times

With budgets tight, states and local governments have been looking at prisons — and prison food — as a place to save money. Three days a week, Georgia now serves inmates only two meals. And across the country, there have been increasing reports of substandard food. This is inhumane. Adequate meals should be a nonnegotiable part of a civilized penal system. It is also bad policy. Researchers have found a connection between poor food quality and discipline problems and violence.

Georgia has nevertheless decided to save on staff costs by serving just two meals on Friday, as it already did on Saturday and Sunday. The state says it gives prisoners the same number of calories on days when one meal is skipped. Even if it does — and some prisoners’ advocates are skeptical — it can be oppressive to go so long without eating.....

.....Cutbacks in food could violate inmates’ constitutional rights, notes Elizabeth Alexander, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, if they create a substantial risk of serious harm — a particular concern for inmates with diabetes and other illnesses.If states and localities want to save money on corrections, they should reduce their prison and jail populations. The United States, which has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has almost one-quarter of its prisoners. Many are in for nonviolent crimes that could be punished in more constructive, and less costly, ways. If governments decide to put inmates behind bars, they have to give them adequate food — which means no less than three healthy meals a day.


Anonymous said...

Every bit of this article is true. However ... will it be heard? Will the message of reducing prison population (usually for frivolous excuses) finally get through?

The initial response each newborn has is the satisfaction of hunger; food; LOVE. Subconsciously, this lasts our entire lives. It is only logical to say that discipline problems and violence are linked to improper nutrition. I know there are constitutional and health violations concerning nutrition in 'correctional' facilities.

Kit Carson has recently reduced the food to one warm and two cold meals per day for ALL inmates. I believe this goes against administrative regulations in Colorado.

What is REALLY going on concerning massive and unnecessary incarcerations??? The actions of those in charge of these institutions are not creating a constructive atmosphere for 'PUBLIC SAFETY' upon release of these souls.

Anonymous said...

Now it seems the trend to save money is to quit feeding the prisoners??? Isnt it time to wake up and release the non violent who are no threat to public saftey??djw

Anonymous said...

It seems they just want the inmates' families to send them more money to eat off (and consequently enrich) the prison canteen! It's all a huge money-making racket -- you can bet they know EXACTLY what they're doing!! Plus, after the hungry inmates stuff themselves with Twinkies as a result, they usually start to get very heavy, and, hence, cannot convince the state they need more food. Kind of a nasty "Catch-22."