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, March 31, 2010

Officials Answer Questions at Sunday Afternoon Forum

Chaffee County Times
District 5 State Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village) speaks at a public forum Sunday afternoon, March 28, at the Buena Vista Community Center. About 45 people attended. Others speaking at the forum are, from left, District 16 State Sen. Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne); Karl Spiecker, Colorado Department of Corrections Director of Finance and Administration; Robert Cantwell, DOC Director of Prison Operations; and Chris Thompson of Salida, representative of the Colorado WINS labor union coalition. The panel answered questions from attendees. Topics included the Colorado Outfitters Viability Act (HB 1188), the Colorado Clean Air Act (HB 1365), the closing of the boot camp at Buena Vista Correctional Complex and regulation of medical-marijuana dispensaries.

Schwartz said HB 1188 is set to undergo more study and then will go before a house/senate conference committee.

"We'll do our best to figure out where to go from here," Schwartz said about the bill. She said there is "a fairly long process still ahead ... I don't know what will happen." She said the bill is a good one.

"My commitment has been with the rafting industry," she said, and added that the bill protects property owners.

Gibbs, who said he grew up in Gunnison and is a former rafting guide, urged those attending the forum to stay involved in the issue and to let legislators know what they think.

Spiecker, in response to a question about prison-inmate recidivism, which he said averages about 53 percent in the Colorado prison system, said Colorado's is "a very, very progressive prison system" and said its goal is "to put a better product before the parole board."

In response to a question from Keith Baker, who serves on the Town of Buena Vista Board of Trustees, about the roles of state and municipal government in dealing with medical-marijuana dispensaries, Schwartz said she sees the regulation of the dispensaries as a local-control issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Karl Spiecker, what a load of crap. Colorado is not a progressive prison system and hasn't been in years. Recidivism is 53%??? Over half of the people released go back to prison...that is not progressive, that is backwards! It will only get worse until the parole board stops blaming offenders for programs that DOC DOES NOT HAVE AVAILABLE TO THEM AND STARTS RELEASING them so they can get the help they need on the outside! Otherwise you are just keeping them for punishment!