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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Supermax Overcrowded and Understaffed

Years of get tough on crime policies, mandatory minimum sentences and over incarceration of low-level drug offenders is finally coming home to roost. There isn't enough space or money to run Florence. They can only spread themselves so far, and in response, the nation's highest-security federal prison is resorting to exteme tactics that results in long-term psychological torture of human beings.

United Nations officials have condemned the U.S. use of prolonged isolation and other tactics in Supermax and other prisons, citing the International Convention Against Torture that the U.S. ratified in 1994.

"This is against international law and against human decency," said Bonnie Kerness, coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee's Prison Watch monitoring campaign.

It's also a place where the extreme isolation of prisoners raises concerns among human- rights advocates about psychological torture.

Gonzales' visit Wednesday - with lawmakers, prison administrators and union leaders in tow - is designed to help tackle these and other troubles that could threaten security at the ultra-high-security Supermax prison and the adjacent high-security U.S. Penitentiary.

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