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

Will Sheriff Alderden Pitch a Tent Also?

The Larimer County Jail has been bursting for awhile. Once again, what do you do when the money runs out? Bond reform and sentencing alternatives are on the table, but money isn't.

FORT COLLINS — The group argued as only lawyers, public defenders and judges could.

In the end, the competing interests found little common ground on Tuesday. The Criminal Justice Advisory Board backed Sheriff Jim Alderden’s decision to set a jail cap, but not his campaign to ask commissioners for more money.

Conditions at the county jail are deteriorating, said Alderden.

Within the past week and a half, three deputies have been placed on light-duty assignments after fights with inmates. Alderden said sometimes inmates will resist an order and deputies will try to make them comply, which sometimes results in injury.

Inmates fight each other daily.

Committee members also talked about lowering or removing bonds for pretrial inmates and possibly shortening jail sentences.

Public defender Kathryn Hay said the punishment of a longer sentence would make less sense than a shorter sentence in some cases.

“It’s like putting a 3-year-old in a timeout. Five minutes is good, where 10 or 15 minutes, the lesson is lost,” she said.

The Criminal Justice Advisory Board voted 3 to 3, with one member abstaining, on the sheriff’s bid to commissioners for more detention center deputies at a price tag of $575,000 the first year and $1.1 million every year thereafter.

Reporter-Herald Article here.

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