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.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Funding crisis keeps some violent inmates in medium security - The Denver Post

Funding crisis keeps some violent inmates in medium security - The Denver Post
Three Colorado inmates who should have been housed in higher-security prisons that had no room for them are suspected of killing fellow prisoners recently in separate incidents, spotlighting a systemwide logjam of violent offenders.
More than 1,300 Colorado inmates are being held in less-secure conditions than they warrant, but the state's higher-security prisons are full, forcing a mixture of violent and lesser offenders in some facilities, said Katherine Sanguinetti, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The violent offenders, housed throughout the prison system, are largely responsible for double-digit increases in the rates of assaults on other inmates and staffers in 2008, Sanguinetti said.
Meantime, a possible solution for freeing the logjam has stalled.
Construction will be completed this summer on a $208 million maximum-security prison in CaƱon City with 948 beds, but the state's budget crisis will keep it closed because there is no money to hire a staff. It would cost $20.5 million to open and occupy the prison, including hiring 581 full-time staff members. The prison has no target opening date.
The assaults and murders call for immediate action, state legislators said, but given the recession and lingering budget deficit, there are no speedy solutions.
"I don't have any magic bullets here," said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee. "It's a very serious problem when we start talking about assaults on guards."
She said she knew about the prisoner placement problems but not about the assaults and murders.
"We can talk about being frugal and tightening our belts, but what's happening at the Department of Corrections shows us a real-world example of what happens when we aren't able to provide services," Levy said.
DOC officials considered emptying a medium-security prison and sending the staff over to open the new high-security prison, called CSP II. But there were myriad logistical issues, including that it takes more officers to run a higher-security prison, Levy said.
Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that in the long term, Colorado needs to move nonviolent inmates out of prisons if they could be managed safely in the community.
"We have to make space for high- risk offenders," she said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I commend Sen Morgan Carroll, now lets also address the issue of mandatory parole which would make the sentences handed down by the judge the only one the offender would have to serve.
What right goes the legislature have to add onto a judges sentence?