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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cronkite Knew A Failed War When He Saw One


Everyone knows Walter Cronkite was "the most trusted man in America" and someone whose rare expressions of personal opinion -- such as on the Vietnam War -- could powerfully influence the views of Middle America. But fewer are aware of a passion of his that he came to relatively late in life -- ending the nation's disastrous war on drugs.

I first learned of Cronkite's interest in the drug war back in 1995, when a producer for The Cronkite Report -- an occasional series on the Discovery Channel -- called to ask for my help on a documentary that he and Cronkite were doing on the drug war. The one-hour report that resulted provided a devastating critique of the nation's drug policies.

Focusing on the lives of three women who had been sentenced to many years in Bedford Hills prison in New York, the program revealed the utter waste of human lives and taxpayer dollars that define the drug war.

Neither Cronkite nor the women involved suggested that they had done nothing wrong. But the extraordinary lengths of the prison terms to which they had been sentenced, for relatively minor participation in the illicit sale of drugs, combined with the impact on their children and families, and the absurd amount of money being spent to punish rather than help and treat -- all this shaped Cronkite's devastating indictment of the drug war.

Walter Cronkite got it -- and he got it early. He knew a failed war when he saw one.


Anonymous said...

It's really too bad that the government would prefer to throw good money after bad instead of admitting their mistakes and legalizing drugs. I think that with all of the politicians who have been exposed lately as being imperfect (having affairs, fraud, conspiracy and deception), that they would all be willing to say we screwed up and now we are going to change what we've been doing because sending people to prison does not work. But too many of them rely on contributions from those who supply the prisons, they make too much money from it, and they won't...for one simple reason...like all of corrections, it's all about the money.

Anonymous said...

I agree its about money, however its the people who must vote the politicians out who dont do the will of the people.
Also Colorado needs to elect judges, not appoint them. Also the head of the CDOC and the IG should be elected as well and not appointed as they are now. djw