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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, August 09, 2009

Judges Diverge On Repeat DUI's

The Denver Post

Across Colorado, repeat drunken drivers pay vastly different prices for their crimes — despite a state law that is supposed to mean jail for all of them.

An analysis of four years of sentencing data by The Denver Post found cases of people with as many as seven drunken-driving arrests who avoided going to jail and were allowed, instead, to serve alternative sentences. Sometimes that meant hanging out at home — a reality that perplexes Adams County District Attorney Don Quick.

"You shouldn't get grounded for your seventh DUI," Quick said.

The Post analysis of data compiled by the Office of the State Court Administrator between 2005 and 2008 also found an Arapahoe County judge who issued jail sentences in more than 90 percent of those repeat cases and judges in neighboring Adams County who locked up defendants in similar cases less than 40 percent of the time.

The discrepancy, according to judges, lawyers and other experts, is the result of the collision between judicial philosophy and legal interpretation against the overriding reality of full jails.

"The thing about jail, the sheriffs don't have any space," said Denver County Judge Raymond Satter.

Satter also said that handing out an alternative sentence gives him the chance to order treatment that is likely to be more effective than what an inmate would get behind bars.

Quick, for one, was not swayed by that argument.

"I think it's a treatment issue when they get drunk and watch TV at home," Quick said. "When they drive, it's a criminal issue."


Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Quick needs to attend some AAA meetings so he could be better prepared to cope with his job. How did he ever get thru law school? It seems to be the trend of Colorado law to lock up sick people. djw

Anonymous said...

Mr. Quick isn't so "quick". His mentality is exactly what is largely responsible for our jail and prison overcrowding problems. What does incarceration do to solve the problem? It has been proven that treatment and rehabilitaion do more towards resolving this type of "crime" problem than incarceration. Incarceration is purely penal and accomplishes nothing for anyone. Treatment and rehabilitaion help to return the defendant to society as a respnsible, productive member.

Unknown said...

Perhaps Mr. Quick should concern himself less with trying to craft what I am sure are his attempts at clever answers, and more with doing his job to the best of his ability, which is, of course, to defend and protect the citizens of his County. Unfortunately, it's a sad irony of life today that it's precisely people like Mr. Quick that we need protecting from.

drunkard said...


I ran across your blog and thought my website and DUI experience might be of some use to you. Sorry for the spam. Please forward along the link to anyone else you think may benefit from it.


Also, it's not just "hanging out at home" it's house arrest. You wear an ankle bracelet for which they charge you $30 / day ($900 / month for the mathematically challenged). They typically also have you on a system, at least in CA, where they can call you any time of day and make you submit to a breathalyzer test.