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 12, 2009

Season to Share: Urban Peak gives at-risk youths a safe place to grow - The Denver Post

Season to Share: Urban Peak gives at-risk youths a safe place to grow - The Denver Post

It was standing-room only at a recent community breakfast, the weekly Thursday refueling session at the youth shelter on South Acoma Street. The first order of business was to "acknowledge those who have been kicking butt and taking names!"

Among them: Eric Wilson, 20, who finished his GED the previous day.

His success met with cheers and applause from the nearly 40 other people finding food, shelter and motivation at Urban Peak, the only licensed youth shelter in Denver.

The shelter's mission starts with the basics — providing warmth, safety and food for homeless, runaway, at-risk youths, ages 14 to 24 — and extends to job and education assistance. From providing hats, gloves and simple hygiene to GED preparation and job training, Urban Peak meets a range of needs with the long- range goal of avoiding chronic adult homelessness.

After the resident doctor offered bus tokens for those wanting to get flu vaccines, and case managers offered diagnostic help for substance abuse and mental-health problems, the youths touting recent achievements got to lead the food line.

Wilson proudly showed off his name on a bulletin board as having completed his GED. That makes him one of 250 this year who earned an equivalency degree with help from Urban Peak.

The Aurora teen's story is typical in that it begins with an unstable home life. Wilson, 20, was home-schooled in high school by his mother. He had trouble transferring his grades to earn approval for a diploma.

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