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, February 03, 2011

Crimes of Punishment

Colorado Springs Independent
On the Huffington Post, David Fathi's blog entries sport headlines like "Supermax Prisons: Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading" and "A Reprieve for Turkeys, But Not for People." (The latter article was festively timed for Thanksgiving.)
Suffice it to say, the man has some opinions when it comes to the American style of dishing out justice.
Fathi worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1990 until 2010, when he was promoted to his current position as director of the ACLU National Prison Project. The project has been around since 1972, fighting unconstitutional prison and jail conditions.
Fathi's experience isn't limited to his ACLU work. From 2007 to 2010, he also served as director of the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch, which researches and defends rights of vulnerable groups. Fathi, who lives in Washington, D.C., has also lectured internationally on criminal justice issues and written editorials for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle and others.
For all these reasons, the Independent was excited to catch up with Fathi when he visited Colorado last week. A bonus was learning of Fathi's intimate knowledge of issues close to home: the impact of certain policies and procedures at El Paso County's jail, and the effect of Colorado's private prison systems on human rights protections.
Indy: El Paso County's jail has long held Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees, and makes a good sum of money doing so. Do you see any conflicts in doing this?
David Fathi: There are a number of problems. First of all, it just makes it very difficult for ICE to enforce minimal standards of health, safety and humane treatment when it's subcontracting with so many jails large and small all over the United States. So there's a real accountability and oversight problem.

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