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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lawmakers vote to delay closure of Bent County prison - The Denver Post

Lawmakers vote to delay closure of Bent County prison - The Denver Post

The closure of a state prison in Bent County has been delayed six months, giving local officials more time to try to figure how to cope with what has been called an "economic tornado."

The Joint Budget Committee today voted to change the closure date of the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility from Aug. 31 to March 1, 2012.

"This isn't easy folks," Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, tweeted after the vote.

The prison is Bent County's second-largest employer.

Bent County Commissioner Bill Long, who sat through the hearing, called the decision "disappointing." Local officials had sought a year's delay.

"A year would have been much better, but we are grateful for this," Long said.

He said the most important

thing is that the closure process does not begin until late next February to give Bent County the full six months.

The closure plan calls for transferring 399 inmates to private prisons and 86 inmates with medical needs to two state prisons. Department of Corrections employees would be transferred to other facilities.

Rep. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, said he was worried about the closure's domino effect on schools and other operations.

"I believe this committee should give this community a least a year," he said.

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