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, February 19, 2007

Higher Education is Feeling the Pinch.

A Denver Post Editorial points out that we are below average is spending for higher education statewide, we also know that we are dead last when it comes to funding substance abuse treatement....and our budget for prisons keeps going up. The Department of Corrections asked for another $53 million dollars this year and if they get it, that means they win over education who only got an additional $49 million dollars. What a message we are sending....

The puzzle over how to fund higher education has been solved at the state legislature for another year: Each of Colorado's public colleges and universities get a little bit of, well, not much.

Rather than tearing "each other to ribbons for a relatively small advantage," as University of Northern Colorado president Kay Norton put it, the schools have agreed to divvy up next year's state funding in the same proportions as this year's funding.

And even though schools came to the Capitol armed with a study showing Colorado's higher education system needing $832 million just to meet the average state funding of their peers across the country, lawmakers could offer only an extra $49 million. So, even if other states held the line on higher ed, Colorado would need another $783 million just to be average....

Either way, students heading to campuses across Colorado next fall can expect another round of higher tuition rates.

With prison costs and Medicaid gobbling up greater portions of Colorado's budget, and so many other parts off-limits to cuts, the riddle of higher education funding won't be solved under the current system.

A new funding stream for higher education must be found.

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