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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Captive Audience...Medical Research on Prisoners

Thanks to Grits for Breakfast for pointing us to this posting at Backgate.

Research involving human subjects has become big business. Currently, more than 10,000 programs and an estimated 45,000 researchers conduct medical research on humans in the United States. With some 2 million Americans now behind bars, prisoners are increasingly being viewed in utilitarian terms by researchers eager to test experimental procedures on an array of chronic medical problems, ranging from asthma to cancer. Prisoners represent a particularly compelling and convenient test group for anti-viral medicines and vaccines: At least 17 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States have spent time in correctional facilities, and the HIV rate in prisons is believed to be six times greater than in the outside population. In addition, prison populations have the highest concentrations of Hepatitis C in the country; from state to state, between 20 to 60 percent of inmates are believed to harbor the virus.

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