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.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Law Could Send More Kids To Adult Prisons - TX

AUSTIN -- The new law designed to rid the Texas Youth Commission of conditions that led to the widespread abuse of young lawbreakers in state custody is likely to result in more juvenile offenders ending up in jails and prisons where hardened adult criminals are housed, some prosecutors and law enforcement officials say.

At issue is a provision in Senate Bill 103, passed this year after a sex-abuse scandal that sparked a top-to-bottom housecleaning of the state agency. The provision forbids the youth commission from keeping offenders in custody past their 19th birthday.

Critics of the new law say prosecutors around the state will push to have more youths certified to stand trial as adults if the crimes they are accused of committing would make them too serious a risk to have back on the street after only a year or two behind bars.

"The Legislature really tied our hands on this one," said Riley Shaw, a juvenile crimes prosecutor for the Tarrant County district attorney's office. "We are going to be looking at seeking [adult] certification in a greater number of cases than we had been under the old system."

Shaw's concerns were echoed by a representative of the Texas County and District Attorneys Association, by an urban county jail administrator and by a criminal justice advocacy group that had championed the overhaul of the youth commission on grounds that young offenders in state custody needed stronger measures on the books to safeguard their rights.

Real Cost Of Prisons

No comments: