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.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ritter vetoes sex-offender bill containing controversial amendment - The Denver Post

Ritter vetoes sex-offender bill containing controversial amendment - The Denver Post

Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday vetoed a bill that would have reauthorized a sex-offender management program because of an amendment attached near the end of the legislative session and intended by its author to punish a lone therapy provider.

"On an issue that is this critical to public safety and the overall success of the sex-offender treatment program, this failure of adequate vetting and thorough debate constitutes a fatal flaw with the bill," Ritter said.

Ritter's decision will force the legislature to quickly decide early in 2011 whether to reauthorize the Sex Offender Management Board, which approves the individuals and companies that provide therapy for convicted sex criminals. Under Colorado's sunset law, the board is scheduled to disappear in July 2011.

The veto thwarts the effort of state Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, who said a treatment agency she thinks mistreated her brother-in-law should be barred from working for the state.

Foster, without disclosing her family connection to the program, Teaching Human Existence, or THE, criticized the provider, saying on the Senate floor, "I personally don't even think (THE) should be on the provider list," as she introduced the amendment.

Her amendment, which required sex offenders to be given a choice by their probation officer of three providers, rather than being told where to go, was approved on a voice vote. The bill later passed easily.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's good news for those who are required to attend sex offender therapy, especially those who were NEVER convicted of a sex offense.

Yes, it's true people who were charged but NOT CONVICTED of a sex offense are required by the CDOC and the Colorado Parole Board to attend sex therapy classes while in prison and on parole.

While on parole, these people pay $60 PER WEEK ($240 or $300 per month) to attend these one-hour group therapy sessions with as many as 20 other people. Do the math: $60 X 20 = $1,200 PER HOUR for the therapists.

Until the passage of this bill, the people have had no say or choice in which therapist they have to see. Some of the therapists are verbally abusive to the people in the groups. I can understand the frustration felt by Senator Joyce Foster when she sees a family member mistreated by a particular therapist.

One therapist a relative of mine has been forced to see, defines sexual contact as a "fist bump," a handshake, and hugging one's parents or siblings. Then, the people in these groups are given polygraphs and asked about sexual contact! Even those who have not had any actual sexual contact cannot pass the polygraph because of fist-bumps, handshakes, and hugging family members!

This sex therapy group counseling business is a serious racket that needs oversight by somebody! Maybe Sen. Foster is the person for the job!