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 31, 2010

In DC A Promise Kept In Juvenile Justice

Washington Post
As I look back on five years as director of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, I see a road marked by both controversy and promises kept.
In May, city leaders fulfilled an oft-repeated vow to shutter the Oak Hill Youth Correctional Facility, one of the nation's most infamous youth-detention institutions. But concerns have since been raised about whether the 60-bed New Beginnings Youth Development Center, Oak Hill's successor, is too small, jeopardizing public safety.
The change in the District, it's important to note, has been part of a broad national shift. In turning away from the prison-like Oak Hill in favor of a smaller facility and rigorous coalitions of community-service providers, the District is squarely in the mainstream of modern juvenile justice practice and research. From 2000 to 2008, the number of youths in custody nationwide dropped by 27 percent, declining in two-thirds of all states. Texas reduced its incarcerated population by more than 2,000 youths, New York by 900 and California by a whopping 8,500, with no untoward effect on public safety. In California, in fact, juvenile arrests fell at twice the rate of adult arrests despite the fact that the state increased its adult prison population by 21 percent and decreased its juvenile prison population by 84 percent.


Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for CO DYC to start looking at a smaller rather than expanded system

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? The DOC wants to grow its business!! Look at the new prison it just had built in Canon City -- it can't staff it! The DOC is out of control. Our legal system sentences people to long sentences with mandatory parole AFTER completion of their full sentences.

A person who is sentenced to five years in DOC with two or three years of mandatory parole will serve seven or eight years under the control of DOC!!

When the "offender" is released on mandatory parole, he is usually required to serve a minimum of six months on Intensive Supervised Parole (ISP) and must wear an ankle monitor with ridiculous curfews of 5:00 or 6:00 PM every evening. In other words, he is subject to house-arrest for six months or more after serving his full sentence.

I don't object to someone who is granted discretionary parole being subject to ISP, but someone who served his full sentence and who was denied parole at every hearing while in prison should not be subject to the control of the DOC after serving his full sentence.

This appears to be nothing more than "job security" for our DOC employees -- not to mention an overreach by DOC.

Anonymous said...

The writer of the article is the outgoing director of DYRS in DC. Go look at articles from independent writers like Colbert King who documents the use of Seroquel being prescribed to youths who can't sleep.

Please. The only difference is that now the youths are in a "residential" private setting not a public one -- so there's less public scrutiny.

Try to find statistics or articles on RTCs or RTFs. You can't. There's no transparency.

Don't believe what this guy says. It's just a parting exit letter trying to toot his own horn and counter the negative press before he gets booted off to NY.