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, February 07, 2010

Repeat DUI offenders must get jail terms, panel says - The Denver Post

Repeat DUI offenders must get jail terms, panel says - The Denver Post

A state criminal-justice commission agreed Friday that repeat DUI offenders in Colorado must go to jail.

The commission endorsed a legislative proposal that would mandate a jail term of 10 days to a year for a second drunken-driving offense and 60 days to a year for third or subsequent offenses.

In addition, repeat offenders would face two years of supervision by probation officers and the threat of up to an additional year in jail for ignoring conditions of probation.

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, the bill's sponsor, said the lengthened probation and suspended jail provisions are intended to provide a potent incentive for counseling and treatment once an offender gets out of jail.

"The year is a deposit that the judge can draw against" if the offender ignores probation requirements, she said. "What we're looking for is participation in alcohol treatment."

The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice decided it could not support a mandatory-jail proposal in December but agreed in January to take a look at a revised version. On Friday, 80 percent of voting members said they could support or live with Levy's bill.

Its endorsement is likely to carry significant weight in the legislature because its members represent all facets of the judicial system: prosecutors and defense lawyers, judges, probation officers, legislators, counselors and crime victims.

State public defender Douglas Wilson voiced several concerns before the vote, including the possibility that people who violate probation could spend up to two years in county jails on a misdemeanor DUI arrest.

"I just want the counties to recognize what you're walking into here," he said.

"The concept, I thought, was to keep people from drinking and driving," he said, but a positive alcohol test can be a probation violation. So some people will be jailed because "they're just alcoholics, they're not driving a car."


Anonymous said...

Levy doesnt get it. People who cannot handle alcohol need treatment, not jail. I witnessed the handeling of prisoners for one courtroom in Arapahoe county. It took 5 deputys to handle the prisoners for that one courtroom. All but one of the prisoners were non violent offenders but were still brought in in handcuffs and chains. Isnt a person considered not guilty till proven guilty in a court of law?? Also each is given a bond hearing so the bondsman can steal there money. Bonds requested by the DA were preposterous.
I am sure the 5 officers draw 50 thousand a year, the judge probably 80 or more. The very youg girl from the DA's office probably getting 60 thousand or more?? I'd say its costing the taxpayers 300 thousand a year to run that one courtroom. I am sure that this cost could be cut in half by recognizing peoples constitutional right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Anonymous said...

People who cannot handle alcohol should'nt be allowed to repeatedly get behind the wheel of the car. Driving is not a right. Probation for the repeaters will likely save many lives, maybe even the drinker's life too.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I see happening is that the laws are not dealt with equally. I know someone who was given 2 years for three dui arrests. Made him a felon, because of a habitual. If you are not going to do the same, or are not treating everyone the same, what good are laws for? We have people that can plea bargin because they have money and lawyers, but those with public defenders get screwed every time. Race should not determine jail sentences.

Anonymous said...

There are way too many Christian Fundementalists and people with cowboy hats in Colorado. As far as I'm concerned they are trying to destroy America by doing this sort of thing to people. America is not about building a huge prison complex infrastructre in States like Colorado, which is based on making a profit. It's about getting people the help they need, like treatment. I was in the Arapahoe County court room myself and witnessed first hand what was being done to non-violent people there and how families where being destroyed. This is damaging American society severly. If you want to solve the problem of DUI you need to invest in things like treatment and mass transit. This is not about locking people up so you can build more jails and make a profit. That is anti-American behavior and should not be tolerated.