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, December 22, 2009

Colorado court pulls the curtain back on adoption records - The Denver Post

This is still going to be a widespread problem when we still have parents who are losing their children because of prison and policy.
Colorado court pulls the curtain back on adoption records - The Denver Post

When Patricia Dukeman started trying to find her biological parents, Ronald Reagan lived in the White House, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" was record of the year, and the Supreme Court decided it was OK for us to use those new VCR things to tape TV shows.
In the 25 years since, Dukeman, 48, has spent a lot of money and learned a lot about Colorado adoption laws.
Yet, she's still searching.
That's partly bad luck. Like a small but significant number of adoptees, she fought long and hard to get her birth certificate, only to discover the information on it is false.
It's also because access to adoption records in Colorado is governed by a patchwork of laws stitched together through years of changing attitudes and knee-jerk reactions.
"It's a complex mix of emotions, politics and money. And rights," said Richard Uhrlaub, co-director of Adoptees in Search — the Colorado Triad Connection.
In April, however, a landmark Colorado Court of Appeals decision unlocked the vault for thousands of adults determined to learn their biological heritage.
The court ruled that, contrary to a widely enforced interpretation, adoptees do not have to hire a confidential intermediary to access their records — as long as they were born between 1951 and 1967, the years that happened to be covered in the particular law the court ruled on.
The ruling also opens up adoption files themselves, which are in the custody of the state Department of Human Services. Those files often contain clues as to why a mother gave up a baby for adoption.

Read more:http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14045792?_requestid=1445523#ixzz0aQLqJASR

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