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 27, 2014

Call of Duty

Call of Duty

Call of Duty

Last fall, Rick Raemisch took
charge of the Colorado Department of Corrections in the wake of his
predecessor’s murder. Now it’s his job to reform our state’s beleaguered
prison system.
With a budget of more than $751 million,
the Colorado Department of Corrections is responsible for transporting,
housing, feeding, educating, medicating, supervising, protecting, and
rehabilitating the individuals who have violated our laws. Some 20,400
offenders populate its 20 state-run correctional facilities. There are
more than 6,000 DOC employees, including corrections officers, wardens,
and associate wardens; the victims services unit; medical staff; mental
health care providers; educators; and the parole division, which is
responsible for around 700 new parolees every month. There’s the
fugitive apprehension unit, charged with tracking down and arresting
those who escape or abscond from parole. There are community corrections
programs that include halfway houses and treatment programs. The
executive team, of which Rick Raemisch is now the head, determines and
manages departmental policy and best practices. 
sheer heft of the corrections system means there can be reams of red
tape and plenty of cracks through which offenders can fall. This is
complicated by the fact that most people follow one of two divergent
corrections philosophies: the belief in rehabilitation, and the belief
that punishment is all offenders will ever deserve.
many people cling to, especially victims and their families, is the
conviction that some criminals are beyond salvation, divine or
otherwise. Rick Raemisch says he believes the exact opposite: that most
people, no matter their histories, can and do change. He has to believe
this because he knows about 97 percent of those who enter prison will
one day return to our communities and become our neighbors and
acquaintances. Raemisch has to believe in the possibility of their
reclamation because it’s his job to fix them before they’re out.

No comments: