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.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

JURIST - Colorado limits solitary confinement for mentally ill

JURIST - Colorado limits solitary confinement for mentally ill

Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado [official website] signed a progressive bill for mentally ill inmates on Friday. Senate Bill 14-064
[text, PDF] changes traditional methods of solitary confinement by
mandating psychiatric evaluations and therapy for inmates diagnosed with
mental illness and qualifying for disciplinary intervention. All
inmates currently in solitary confinement will be evaluated within 90
days, and those diagnosed with serious mental illness will be
transferred to a step-down unit for medically guided treatment.

The effects of solitary confinement have been seriously scrutinized after the March 2013 slaying
[Denver Post Report] of Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom
Clements. The suspect, Evan Ebel, was repeatedly disciplined with
isolation during prior incarceration, which many believe led to the
slaying of Mr. Clements. The legality of solitary confinement [JURIST news archive] has been an ongoing debate in the US, with many calling for comprehensive prison reform [JURIST podcast]. In February, New York reformed the use of such practices on minors. In October 2013 UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez urged [JURIST report] the US to immediately end the solitary confinement imposed in 1972 on Albert Woodfox [AI backgrounder]. In June at least 400 inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in California initiated a hunger strike
[JURIST report] in protest of solitary confinement. In January 2011 the
Washington Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that holding death row inmates in
solitary confinement indefinitely is not an impermissible increase [JURIST report] in the severity of punishment. In 2009 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
[advocacy website] filed suit against the US government, challenging
the establishment of isolated cells within federal prisons that were
allegedly created in violation of federal law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortuately this comes too late for all those prisoners, like my friend Dan Clark 116663, that spent several years in CSP, diagnosed as Bipolar and like 65% of the prisoners in CSP, given drugs by the state for mental illnesses. Cruz and Zavaras should be strung up for construction of a $205M prison that is not needed and never has been needed.