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, November 26, 2009

Reality Show In Prison and Reality In Prison

Thank you Alan


Lockup, MSNBC's voyeuristic peek at life inside America's nastiest prisons, launched its new season Sunday night with some cell floodings and tough talk by thick-necked inmates at Colorado's own Limon Correctional Facility.
This season (titled "Extended Stay: Colorado") will focus on Limon, a simmering high-security hoosegow that houses close to a thousand violent prisoners and has a troubled history of assaults and lockdowns.
Like its prototype, Cops, the MSNBC show isn't exactly an unbiased source of information about the criminals it finds so fascinating. The producers are dependent on corrections officials for access, and that clearly influences what they can and can't show about what really goes on behind bars.
The prisoners seem to enjoy cutting up for the cameras, which makes them that much easier to demonize. But then again, some of them don't need much demonizing -- a murder last week at another Colorado prison had strong overtones of the theme of this week's episode, demonstrating that some of the popular stereotypes about prison life are all too true.
A central character in this week's plot line, Timothy Schreiber, happens to have a history of sexual assaults on children. Rather than keep this information to himself, Schreiber did everything he could to antagonize other inmates and staff, all in a brazen effort to keep himself out of general population at Limon. (For clips of the show, go here.) Child molesters don't fare well on the yard with everyone else, as Lockup viewers know well.
Schreiber's plan almost backfired -- he screwed up enough ways to face possible habitual charges, which could have landed him in Limon for life. But apparently the prison system was as sick of him as I was by the end of the episode and ended up cutting him loose. Schreiber was released in September and returned to Jefferson County, prompting a community meeting to inform his neighbors -- who'll likely be even more disturbed than before when they see this episode.