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.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Denver police change rules on use of force - The Denver Post

Denver police change rules on use of force - The Denver Post

Denver police officers as of today won't carry blackjacks and must comply with a host of other rules governing the use of stun guns and other implements, thanks to 2008 deadly force audit recommendations only now taking effect.

The new rules coincide with the release of the Denver independent monitor's report, which points out a downward trend in officer shootings but highlights the most serious disciplinary problems in the police and sheriff's departments.

Police Chief Gerry Whitman said the new policy puts into the rule book the common-sense practices already used by officers in most cases.

"We've had great success with training officers and allowing them to make decisions," Whitman said. "The more we put these (practices) into policy and train on them, the easier it is to make decisions quickly."

A 2008 audit by the Police Assessment Resource Center cited as unsafe the use of handguns, flashlights and blackjacks — also called saps — to strike people.

Instead of blackjacks, officers will use foldout batons more commonly employed by other cities, Whitman said. Flashlights and handguns will not be allowed as striking weapons except as a last resort.

And officers in most cases won't be allowed to use a stun gun on people who could fall and seriously injure or kill themselves, people driving a car, people holding a firearm or the elderly and disabled.

The policies — on which officers have been training for months — solve problems that don't exist with the Police Department and could trip up officers in the future, said Mike Mosco, president of Denver Police Protective Association.

"When you put in these unnecessary policies, you're setting up people to fail," Mosco said. "This is a knee- jerk reaction by our administration.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14676175#ixzz0iHNmaeF5

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