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, January 21, 2010

Cash Scratch Fever

Colorado Springs Independent
Mike Morrissey's liquor store sits at the corner of Spruce and Bijou streets, just west of Interstate 25, adjacent to a neighborhood some would call shabby. He's been there 18 years, so he knows his clientele backward and forward — "better than I should know them," he says.
Ask who buys lottery tickets from beneath his countertop cases, and he doesn't hesitate.
"People who live paycheck to paycheck are the ones buying tickets," he says.
Lower-income folks spend three times more on lottery tickets — mostly scratch — from Morrissey than middle-income customers. One elderly customer living in downtown subsidized housing bought rolls of tickets at $300 to $600 each, shelling out about $4,000 over the course of six months.
"He didn't win anything," Morrissey says.
Those are the kinds of folks the state of Colorado is counting on, the ones who don't care that the odds are stacked against them. Playing games in which chances to win range from 1 in 4 (scratch tickets) to 1 in 195 million (Powerball), they've rescued 718,171 acres of Colorado land from development, improved 1,000 community parks, built 700 miles of hiking and biking trails, and completed capital construction projects — all at a cost of more than $2.2 billion since the Colorado Lottery began in 1983.

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