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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More rehab, less jail in drug-reform measure - The Denver Post

More rehab, less jail in drug-reform measure - The Denver Post

Drug offenders could spend less time in jail and more time in rehabilitation programs under a sentencing-reform proposal that debuted at the state Capitol on Tuesday with widespread support and the goal of curbing repeat offenses.

The plan would lower the penalties for people found in possession of up to 4 grams of most drugs, shaving years off sentences and saving the state money by vacating prison beds, advocates said. The savings — which doubters argue may never materialize — could provide the first large and reliable funding stream to treat drug offenders' addictions.

The legislation also marks the first time lawmakers stand a chance at large-scale drug-sentencing reform, said a variety of backers who

include prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement, community advocates and the governor.

State Public Defender Doug Wilson said the bill "had a 100 percent chance of passing" and that its chief accomplishment would be drawing a more clear distinction between drug users and drug dealers.

"Colorado is starting to recognize that locking people up in prison for what is essentially a disease is not a way to cut recidivism," Wilson said.

House Bill 1352 would lower sentences for criminals facing charges for using and possessing drugs, but stiffen penalties for those who deal drugs to children.

One in five of Colorado's 22,600 inmates landed in prison for primary drug offenses, though not all would qualify for lighter sentences, according to Attorney General John Suthers, who backs the bill.

Anti-drug groups including the CaƱon City-based Christian Drug Education Center worry about the message that lowered penalties for drugs such as marijuana would send to kids already seeing a boom in medical-marijuana use, founder Beverly Kinard said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can law enforcement ever hope to prove how much of whatever drug some one has. 2 grams, 4 grams or measures of ounces. Are cops gonna carry scales and who can prove there competance. It seems that those who have money for a good attorney will get off and those with a court appointed attorney will go to jail as always. Is this justice Mr. Penry? Mr. Waller?
Would you please do what the public really wants you to do and get rid of your mandatory parole statute.