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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Johnson: An attempt to return a disquieting message - The Denver Post

Johnson: An attempt to return a disquieting message - The Denver Post

Some of this, some of that . . .Mark called me the other day. I am ticked that I missed him, though his message kind of got to me.

I never understood his last name. It was garbled in the voice mail. But he was calling me from a Boulder Community Hospital nursing station. He had tried and failed again to kill himself.

He had wanted to tell me of his incarceration. He wasn't looking for pity, he told me. Maybe, he said, his story could help others.

He was in prison for four full years, he said. Every day of it was spent in solitary. He didn't know why they kept him there, he said.

"I only got to come out once a week for 15 minutes to take a shower," he said.

And then one day they paroled him, put him out on the streets. Just like that. And he still does not know what to do with himself.

"I'm not used to being around people," he said. "I am living right now like a scared dog."

He has tried several times to kill himself. Someone always saves him, he said.

I called the number he left. A nurse at the desk said he was no longer there.

Mark, if you read this, call me again. Leave a good number.

• • •

Marvin Booker only wanted to retrieve his shoes. For that, Denver sheriff's deputies killed him.

No matter how many times you watch the videotape released last week of the man's killing at the Denver jail, you just can't get past that sad and simple fact.

Indeed, you can almost hear Marvin Booker yell at the deputy who first grabbed him, "I just want my shoes!"

I've wondered if the other four deputies who arrived, jumped on the scrawny little man and proceeded to choke the life out of him even knew about the shoes, or cared.

Mayor Guillermo "Bill" Vidal, I believe, is a good and decent man. As regards his no-discipline ruling last week, he got that one all wrong.

Read more: Johnson: An attempt to return a disquieting message - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/billjohnson/ci_18070470?source=rsshomecol#ixzz1MWvpWJVr
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