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, June 03, 2010

Ritter Signs Parole Bill Sponsored by Pace

Gov. Bill Ritter signed legislation Tuesday that will divert parole violators into less expensive community correction beds rather than prison, if their violation was only technical.
The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, and is expected to save about $15 million for the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The new law says that if a paroled prisoner commits a technical violation — such as missing required meetings — the person should be sent to less expensive detention, such as community corrections, rather than back to prison.
"I learned that the recidivism rate for an offender who completes a therapeutic community program is 8 percent. That's a lot lower than the 50 percent recidivism rate in a DOC facility," Pace said.
Saving from the legislation will be spent on the therapeutic programs aimed at stopping recidivism, such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a bill based on logic. I must express my concerns for those in prison who might get rejection after rejection for halfway housing due to constant tenancy. There must be a balance so these guys and gals already in prison waiting for community corrections or halfway are given fair consideration.

"I learned that the recidivism rate for an offender who completes a therapeutic community program is 8 percent. That's a lot lower than the 50 percent recidivism rate in a DOC facility," Pace said.

The above statement would reduce the prison population by over 50 percent if therapy at every level were applied at sentencing. Everyone in the judicial system knows this to be true. Once again, it's political advantage for the prosecution and the Judges involved (among others). Simple guidance and direction would put our society on a greater civil level than what is current policy; locking away fallible human beings and destroying their productivity for life.

Is the CDOC truly willing to abide by a more educational and constructive pathway for people who are in need of role modeling and therapeutic classes (paid by the individuals) or is the CDOC still checking the profits at the end of the year, regardless of how successful guidance programs would be to the individuals who are charged with offenses?

This is a move in the right direction. I, for one, would like to see Governor Ritter view it and apply it from every angle. Governor Ritter has until November of this year to put pen in hand and sign quality, effective laws.

He deserves our gratitude.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything now he needs to tell the Parole Board to start paroling people the FIRST TIME. They are eligible, they are compliant and more time is not likely to make ANY difference to public safety, in fact the studies show as Pace says the recidivism rate is HIGHER STAYING IN DOC. I hope the Parole Board listens to that at my husband's parole hearing in August.

antionette said...

I have been out of prison for three years with no violations on a ten year sentence i have been doing really well and will continue to do so< oh i almost forgot with a five year tail with no relief, i have received more time then some killers, when will there be relief for low risk offenders.