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.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prison Electrician's License To Get Pulled

Ensuring public safety is the key and when you don't give people the chance to be successful you don't do that. CDORA and the Attorney General's Office need to be attentive to what is real. Someone needs to step in and do something about this kind of practice. DOC offers people the chance to get licensed in various apprenticeship programs. That creates a positive change in people's lives. If they aren't allowed to use newly discovered skills they will go back to what has caused damage in their lives before.

The Denver Post - For most of the 20 years Marke Bogle spent behind bars, the state was happy to exploit his skills as an electrician.

So happy, in fact, that prison officials drove Bogle, albeit in shackles, to Denver to take his electrical exams. Every two years, the Department of Corrections paid to renew his license. And wardens kept him on call wiring prisons, installing surveillance systems and repairing electrified fences — at the bargain rate of 60 cents a day.

So it seems wrong, now that Bogle has done his time, for the state to cite his murder conviction in threatening to yank the license he needs to make a living.

"All that money I saved the state, and then I start my new life and it's like 'You're no good to us any more,' " says Bogle, 49.

He speaks candidly about the day in 1985 when he strangled his wife with one hand — a crime that brought him a life sentence.

"She started one fight too many, and I ended it the wrong way. I've been paying for it ever since," he says.

He had worked with wiring since age 12, when his dad started teaching him the trade.

With the DOC's nod, he got his journeyman license from prison in 1987 and a year later earned his license as a master electrician.

For 18 years, he put in 12- to 15-hour days doing what the system asked. He moved from prison to prison on remodel and repair jobs and even trained other inmates as apprentices.

The only assignment Bogle refused: wiring a room at Territorial Prison to administer lethal injections.

Bogle's labor saved countless tax dollars and kept him sane.

He was released on good behavior in 2006, and is under intensive supervision in Littleton.

He works as a manager for Northern Electric Inc. doing large projects, including contracts for the state.

In November, Attorney General John Suthers' office wrote to say Colorado's Electrical Board — which has known about Bogle's crime for years — was filing disciplinary proceedings because of his conviction.

Colorado's Department of Regulatory Affairs, which oversees the board, won't talk about Bogle's license, but cites guidelines saying "the board's purpose when reviewing the status of all licenses is to ensure the safety of the public."

"I think it's a bunch of crap," says Richard Nailor, the former DOC captain under whom Bogle worked for 10 years.

As an electrician, Nailor says, Bogle is "one of the best," noting he would read up on electrical systems in his prison cell.

Nailor recalls the day he climbed a lamppost that Bogle realized was about to snap.

"I was 22 feet up and he held it real carefully as I eased down," he said. "He's been in places where if he wanted to kill me, he could have done it 10 times. Instead, basically, this man saved my life."

The Denver Post


Anonymous said...

maybe the state should revoke John Suthers attorney license. The man did his time now leave him alone. djw

Anonymous said...

the system does not want us ex cons to be succesful and if it is within there power to knock us down they will ,these kinds of things only make me work harder to be a good dad,worker and to live a life i can be proud of ...to everyone who has made it out ..keep on trying and always do what you know is the right thing ...charlie

Anonymous said...

President Eisenhower, a military man, warned us of the military industrial complex and we ignored him. He warned of a communist government in Russia, and we ignored him.
The state of Colorado department of corrections system is broken. It pays slave labor. it is a complete communist dictatorship in our midst. The Colorado legislature passed a law to stop the supply of prisoners back into the DOC system and the DOC ignores the law. DOC ignores the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights every day it operates.
Yes, drug dealers, violent convictions and capital crimes need punishment, but filling the maximum security prison with people who are drug addicts and mental health cases, only gives DOC the scare tactics it needs to continue this hell on earth.

Licensed Electrician said...

Thanks for sharing this post