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.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dunston Released To The Streets

The street definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and
expect different results. In a closed (?) parole hearing on Friday, (see the story above) Dunston was released to go to treatment again to a program that doesn't have room for him. Read the first excellent article by Ann Imse here about the revolving door.

Dunston Sidner, a mentally ill crack addict who has cost taxpayers $200,000 in the past 12 years, was ordered released to parole Friday - once again to a treatment program that may not have room for him.

Sidner, 56, who was profiled in the Rocky on Friday, illustrates one of the problems contributing to the state's skyrocketing bill for prisons: half of Colorado's inmates return to prison within three years.

Parole board hearing officer Celeste C de Baca on Friday said after a closed hearing that she had approved a plan that may send him to his sister's home over the weekend, and move him next week to a residential treatment center for mentally ill addicts run by Mental Health Corp. of Denver.

MHCD has two such facilities sufficiently staffed to take parolees, said MHCD chief Dr. Carl Clark. But there's a waiting list. And the state has no contract with MHCD to pay for parolees like Sidner....

"So they're competing with everybody else for these slots," Clark said.
Finding room for parolees "is really hard to do."

Ann Imse's follow-up article here

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