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 03, 2010

State of Sentencing 2009

The Sentencing Project
With states around the nation experiencing significant fiscal crises,
legislators are increasingly interested in prioritizing available resources as
they affect how states direct scarce correctional dollars. As a result, many
states are rethinking their sentencing policies in order to develop fair and effective
approaches to strengthen public safety. Legislative initiatives to address prison
overcrowding, parole policies and sentencing alternatives are increasingly at the
forefront of state criminal justice agendas.

During 2009 state legislatures in at least 19 states enacted policies that hold the
potential to reduce prison populations and/or promote more effective approaches to
public safety.1 This report examines these initiatives in sentencing reform, death
penalty, probation and parole practices, and juvenile justice. Highlights include:
• Three states scaled back the scope of mandatory minimum drug sentences;
• Seven states amended probation and parole policies to expand good time and
earned time programs resulting in reducing prison sentences;
• Four states improved juvenile justice policies, including eliminating juvenile
life without parole and modifying adult certification procedures;
• Two states created incentive programs for local jurisdictions to reduce
probation revocations;
• New Mexico repealed the death penalty;
• North Carolina permitted persons sentenced to death to challenge their death
sentence by arguing that there is systemic racial bias in the way that capital
punishment is applied;

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