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, January 31, 2008

Westword - Portrait Of Jeny

A wonderful story in Westword about how a family can come back from the brink of destruction with some help and support that can develop from a collaboration of systems and community. It's a long story, but definitely worth the read.

My parents were drug addicts. I wasn't sure what drug, though; after all, I was only eight. My Dad was always in and out of jail. My Mom and Dad always argued, over anything. Sad part was that my Dad was abusive to my Mom. That's the part that hurt the most. My older brother and my sister and I used to cry and hope that one day it would all stop. Even though my brother didn't live with us because my Mom was too young to support all of us, he lived with my Grandma right in front of our house, so he was always with us. We all grew close because we were all hurt and knew we had to stick together. Until one day when my Dad had just gotten out of jail, and the cycle of drugs, arguing and abuse went on. My new brother was only a few months old in the year 2000, when my Mom decided that she wanted a better life for us. So late at night we packed and left on a Greyhound bus to Colorado.

Jenifer Martinez didn't know what Colorado was, but she knew that her mother was right when she said they had to get away from California. Jeny's mother, Rosy, asked her to keep it a secret from her little sister, Carmen, who would have told their dad.