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, September 04, 2010

Inmate who videotaped prison conditions eyes Md. sequel - baltimoresun.com

Inmate who videotaped prison conditions eyes Md. sequel - baltimoresun.com
The way Omar Broadway sees it, Maryland prisons are overrun with gangs, disciplinary rules are ignored and inmates pass the time playing video games and making wine in their cells.

You don't have to take his word for it: He says he's getting it on film.

Broadway, a New Jersey native serving a 12-year sentence for carjacking, has gained notoriety as an amateur documentarian of life behind bars. The choppy footage he captured in a Newark prison was turned into a full-length feature ("An Omar Broadway Film") that aired at a prominent film festival and was broadcast on HBO this summer.

The popularity of the recording — a massive breach of security — led officials to transfer Broadway to the Maryland correctional system in 2007.

Before long, cameras were rolling again.

He has collected, he says, "a great deal of footage" depicting living conditions of a typical inmate in Maryland and the "illicit activities" that he says take place in the corrections system, some of it captured on a device so small he could fit it in his mouth.

Here, he said, gang members are so prevalent that the general prison population resembles gang-only units in New Jersey, and that increases the pressure to join. Abuse of inmates is not as widespread as his past experiences, he said, though he believes he has been improperly held in segregation for a year.

While cameras are not allowed in prison, Broadway is willing to risk criminal charges because he believes it's important that the public get an insider's view of prison life. But others have questioned whether his motives are fueled more by self-promotion than a sense of justice.

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