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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Female inmates in Denver gain life skills - The Denver Post

Female inmates in Denver gain life skills - The Denver Post

Sheriece Hurd, convicted of involuntary manslaughter, wiped away her tears with a red Christmas napkin on a recent afternoon at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility.

In her green uniform, sitting with two other inmates, she spoke on a panel about Making Choices, a restorative-justice program focused on life-planning and decisionmaking skills.

"If I had this program when I had him, I wouldn't be here now," she said.

In 2004, when she was 21, Hurd shot and killed her boyfriend, the father of two of her three children. She'd called police a few times in the previous year to report that he was violent but never left the abusive relationship.

"I wanted to see what I could do differently with my thought processes," she said of her decision to join the Making Choices program. "Because I was not thinking during the whole situation of domestic violence that I was involved in."

Over the past 10 years, the program has proven highly effective for the 450 women who have taken the training.

Prison officials say the recidivism rate is 54 percent for Colorado's prison population in general, but for women who graduated from Making Choices, it is just 12 percent. It drops to 8 percent for those who take a follow-up booster program, which 122 women have done.

"When I heard that, it blew me away," said warden Travis Trani, who arrived here months ago from a job as warden of Limon Correctional Facility.

Trani said the Department of Corrections does a good job providing academic programs and career and technical education.


Anonymous said...

Why are these programs only available to certain custody levels and it often seems...to women only? These programs should target those people who are within 2 years of their MRD NO MATTER what their classification or sex is.

Sara Long said...

What would the state of CO do with all the empty prison beds?????

IF it doesn't make sense "follow the money trail"!!!!

Isn't that what governs this country?????

Anonymous said...

The danger in the article is that it suggests that the funding of this program is the "silver bullet" to inmate change. It ain't that simple.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, completing this wonderful course (and others which are similar) makes absolutely no difference into whether an inmate is accepted into a halfway house or allowed discretionary parole...I know many women who are discovering this for themselves!