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, August 22, 2011

Denver groups must apply by Friday to be needle-exchange sites - The Denver Post

Denver groups must apply by Friday to be needle-exchange sites - The Denver Post

Organizations vying to become among the first legal syringe exchanges in Denver have until Friday to submit proposals to the Department of Environmental Health.

The Denver City Council voted unanimously in March to amend a 1997 ordinance on needle-exchange programs, making it easier for them to operate in the city.

Amendments to the ordinance consisted of eliminating the one-for-one syringe exchange provision, eliminating identification cards for participants and killing a provision that restricted a needle-exchange program from operating within a mile of another exchange.

After the proposals are submitted, a review committee will take less than two weeks before making recommendations to the Denver environmental health manager as to which agencies are best equipped to serve the community. The program depends on funding from a mix of government grants and private donations.

Exchanges could open for business as early as this fall.

Lisa Raville, director of the Harm Reduction Action Center, said she is cautiously optimistic that her organization will be one of the chosen agencies. Last year, HRAC disposed of 21,000 used syringes, officials said, but couldn't provide clean ones in exchange.

"These exchanges are essential in the community, not only for the public health of injection drug users but for the entire community as a whole," Raville said. "Thirty-five states and 60 countries already operate these exchanges, so it's long overdue."

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