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, April 08, 2008

US Shifting Prison Focus To Reentry - NY TIMES

Back in the 1970s and ’80s, high crime and “get tough” laws meant longer sentences and more emphasis on punishment than on rehabilitation, and the federal and state governments spent billions building prisons.

Today, as a legacy of those policies, not only are record numbers incarcerated, but also about 700,000 state and federal prisoners are released annually, many of them with little education or employment prospects and destined to be imprisoned again within a few years.

In a sharp change in attitudes about incarceration, many states and private groups have recently experimented with “re-entry” programs to help released prisoners fit back into their communities and avoid new crime.

The strategy will get a major boost this week. President Bush is to sign the Second Chance Act in a public ceremony on Wednesday, making rehabilitation a central goal of the federal justice system. In a sign of how far the pendulum has swung, the measure passed Congress with nearly unanimous bipartisan support.

With the new law, the federal government is to provide more money and leadership in a field where progress is likely to be difficult at best, experts agree.



Anonymous said...

Colorado is not part of the many states. We are still planning to build 1/2 trillion dollars of new prisons to keep the 22,600+ prisonsers recirculating and keeping the 6500 DOC employees employed. We are currently building a super max prison at a cost of $140M that is not needed, except that DOC routinely abusively classifies mental and drug abuse cases as needing to be put in supermax because that is where they think they need to be housed, then give them drugs to keep them quiet, release them, they are not employed, abuse drugs or are so mentally incapacitated that they commit more crimes. It becomes a vicious cycle that only we, the public, can stop by throwing out of office the entire state legislature, the governor, and both political parties and putting into power those that have some intelligence, instead of a political agenda and baggage owing business (such as the DOC vendors and employees) political favors.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous, Arizona is just as bad! They are finding new ways that the families of inmates and inmates HAVE to purchase their "snacks", Shoes,headphone radios, cd players, batteries, headphones(singular) and TV's all though their "stores" and charge overprice for them. They are already selling prison as a business for DOC to make their buck. Would someone try to explain to me, how does the state be allowed to charge "housing" to the inmate and a charge for electric to the inmate when they are already being paid all of this by the tax payer? Not to mention collecting 40,000 a year to house the inmate from us. Now we have a seperate phone company playing middle man by owning the pay phones which the inmate calls home on, so they can charge the family more money for the use of their phone. Mind you, the prison turns over the families social security numbers to this phone company without you giving permission or any knowlegde of this. Now they have our social security numbers and who knows who these people are and what right do they have by having this? You pay your phone bill thru your regular phone company and they are to disperse this money onto the pay phone owners but if their late doing this, they (the payphone company) puts a block on your phone so the inmate cant call home!I'm never late in paying my bill, but because Qwest didnt send it out to them, guess what happened? This was done to me, took me 3 days of raising hell with the payphone company and they actually had the nerve to ask me to call them, every month when I paid my Qwest bill. Needless to say, I told them no. This is definitely getting out of line and something needs to be done.Qwest, as everyone knows was the ONLY phone company who refused to turn over personal info about you as a customer, but of course the person has your info. What can be done about these topics? Prison, the big moneymakers, what a shame!! No rehab there.