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, May 08, 2008

Inmates Learn Ropes Of Outside Life

Al Parker writes the word "tenacity" in bold letters across a whiteboard.

"You must remember this word," he says to a group of female inmates at the Larimer County Detention Center.


A Wall Street investment banker for 13 years and a businessman for many more, Parker now volunteers two nights a week teaching inmates at the Larimer County Detention Center the most basic of job skills, which for many means surviving successfully outside the correctional system.

"I heard this from another man who started this class (in New York) who started to feel that the prisons generally teach classes in how to get high school diplomas, classes in religion, in drug rehabilitation, but they don't have classes how to acclimate to the business world," Parker said.

LCDC offers GED and other programs, such as substance abuse and character programs.

From teaching inmates how to fill out a resumé with the correct format, phone numbers and references to conducting themselves appropriately in an interview, Parker stresses the importance of employment.

"These people want to lead a better life, but they aren't sure how to," Parker said.

The Coloradoan

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