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.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Repeal of Denver's 2008 impound law moves forward - The Denver Post

Repeal of Denver's 2008 impound law moves forward - The Denver Post

Denver City Council members on Wednesday moved out of committee a measure to repeal Initiative 100, the vehicle-impound law voters approved in 2008.

The issue now moves to the full council for a public hearing and a vote.

It would take the vote of nine of the 12 members of the council to repeal the law. Although there is strong support among council members to do so, council members Jeanne Faatz and Charlie Brown dissented.

Councilmen Paul Lopez and Doug Linhkart say the measure has ended up clogging the city's impound lots.

"The pig is getting stuck in the python," Councilman Chris Nevitt agreed.

Supporters of the ballot initiative had hoped it would require police to impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers in all but a few select cases.

But after voters approved the measure, the city attorney's office decided the ballot language was so clumsily worded that the city could continue to give police broad discretion on when to impound cars. The city enforced other provisions of the initiative that required the posting of a $2,500 bond to get vehicles out of impound, payment of a $100 fee for land acquisition and payment of $75 in processing costs.

Lopez and Linkhart contend the new bonding requirement and new fees have ended up prompting more people to abandon their cars at the impound lots, which in turn has clogged the system and prompted police to tow fewer cars. With fewer cars getting impounded and the need to hire additional staff, the city is losing money on impounds, they said.

"The only fix is to repeal this," Lopez said, noting that voters last year rejected another ballot measure aimed at strengthening Initiative 100 by making impounds mandatory in certain circumstances.

Brown said he thought the city's voters should have the say on a repeal, not the council.

Faatz said the land-acquisition fee raised about $250,000 last year to expand impound space. She added that the city's budget officials also have said that creating another impound lot would free up space for more cars and turn the program into a generator of profit in excess of $400,000 annually, primarily because more cars would get sold at auction.

She added that she doesn't feel sorry for those who have trouble posting the bond and paying the new fees after they get their cars towed without a driver's license.

"When you talk about the costs, it's hard to have sympathy for someone who continues to break the law and flouts the law," Faatz said. "This was intended to say, 'Enough is enough.' "

Council members voted 7 to 2 to move the repeal out of committee. Those voting in favor of the repeal were Council President Jeanne Robb and members Nevitt, Montero, Lopez, Linkhart, Michael Hancock and Carla Madison.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The denver council acts like a bunch of thieves. I dont believe they have any legal right to impond cars with out DUE Process of LAW? Attorneys check it out.