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, April 25, 2010

Prison To Adapt To Mental Illness

Statesman Journal
Nearly half of Oregon's 14,000 prisoners — 6,797 — are mentally ill, according to the Department of Corrections.

This troubling convict population has boomed during the past decade and now is 10 times larger than the mental patient population at the 627-bed Oregon State Hospital in Salem.
Alarmed by the rising number of mentally ill convicts, prison officials plan to create a new multipurpose mental health center at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, just south of the state hospital.
The penitentiary's "super max" unit, officially called the Intensive Management Unit, will be converted into three therapy-minded units.
For two decades, the IMU has operated as a tightly controlled compound within the now-2,000-inmate prison. It corrals belligerent and disruptive inmates — some mentally ill — in their cells for more than 23 hours per day.
By the end of this year, the two-story IMU facility will get a facelift to soften its austere environment, and will begin serving a therapeutic role.
"With the types of programs we want to bring in there, we need to bring in some acoustic sound proofing and lighten it up with some paint," said Brian Belleque, DOC administrator for the west side institutions.
Mental health services are planned for three of the four units in the IMU building:


Anonymous said...

Imagine-"there is a problem and let's admit we are wrong and need to do something different."

"Aren't we lucky that in CO DOC we don't change, examine our misguided thinking or consider the experiences of other states."

Hell, we (the State of CO)have an extra $10,000,000 dollars to waste in the name of so-called "public safety."

Anonymous said...

why do comments on this blog have to be approved. Poor, poor ,poor practice. "Who decides????"