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 07, 2007

Ortiz Got a Bonus?

A bouquet would have been nice. Maybe a sheet cake.

But former Gov. Bill Owens, for whom "eliminating wasteful government spending" was practically a religion, instead gave his 12 Cabinet members $64,000 in going-away gifts on his way out the door last month.

As if it were his money to spend.

So exactly who got these tokens of appreciation on top of $309,000 in legitimate payments for unused sick leave and vacation time? Let's see ...

Joe Ortiz, director of the Department of Corrections, is one.

You remember Joe. In 2005, the state auditor's office found that he had provided such lax oversight of privately owned prisons that inmates were dying for lack of basic medical care. In another spectacular stumble, a small inmate disturbance at the Crowley County Correctional Facility in 2004 erupted into a riot that left 13 people hospitalized and the prison in shambles after the DOC waited two hours before dispatching a response team to the facility - 7 miles away.

Ortiz got a $5,249.54 goodbye bonus.

Denver Post article

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