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.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Boulder County Mulls Early Release Plan

The Daily Camera

A state plan to release about 3,500 inmates from Colorado prisons for budgetary reasons has Boulder County authorities concerned about potential crowding at the county jail. But, they say, they're also optimistic that the measure will lead to smarter sentencing.

The state plan to help save $320 million will release 15 percent of Colorado's 23,000 inmates over two years, and an additional 2,600 parolees will be released from intense supervision.

Only prisoners who are within six months of their mandatory release date and have served at least half of their supervised term will be eligible for early release. Sex offenders won't qualify, and other offenders, such as people who've committed violent crimes, will undergo rigorous reviews.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said he's concerned that prisoners who are released early might be more likely to re-offend and end up back in the county jail. The state's reduction in prison staff and space also might leave criminals who are sentenced in Boulder County in the local jail longer -- until there is room for them in a state facility.

"When you start doing prison cuts and eliminating bed space, people who get sentenced for crimes are sent back to the county jails to await transfer from the state," Pelle said. "But the state can never take them, and they end up in the county jail forever. That is expensive and causes overcrowding."

On the other hand, Pelle said, he supports statewide sentence reform, and the state's budget-driven prison changes could ensure a systematic shift in how convicted criminals are sentenced.


Barney said...

Staying in prison 6 months longer is not likely to prevent an inmate from re-offending. Prison does not make better citizens, it only makes better prisoners. If they are likely to re-offend, they will do so with or without the added 6 months prison time.
Also, I don't know what he is talking about with regards to reduced prison staff. The information I have read is that there will be NO reduction in prison staff, but rather we are to save money by virtue of eliminating the need to pay for a the keep of a larger number of inmates in private prisons.
There is no plan to eliminate any bed space, thus the concern about inmates waiting longer in county jails for space is bull also. There would be ample bedspace and therefore should eliminate a need to house inmates in county jail awaiting state bedspace.
Pelle is full of S***!

Anonymous said...

Sentence reform is not the answer. Closing prisons and forcing the prison industrial complex to shrink their bite on our pockets is the goal. Public Safety is what they always throw up, but it is the money. Politicians get money from the prison guards and prison towns, not the prisoners. MPC