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 29, 2008

Tapia Pushing Pueblo For DOC Headquarters

Colorado's Department of Corrections wants a new headquarters building and state Sen. Abel Tapia is pushing for Pueblo's business community to rally together to make a winning pitch.

The clock is running, too, because corrections officials are asking for all the competing "requests for proposals" to be submitted by mid-June.

"You're talking about 200 well-paying jobs and we should be doing all we can to get it," said Tapia, the Pueblo Democrat who is also Senate president pro tem. "My experience on the (Legislature's) Joint Budget Committee tells me the final decision will be based on the best price."

Toward that goal, Tapia has helped organize meetings of the Pueblo Economic Development Corp., Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, Pueblo County and city officials to focus on how to fashion a winning proposal.

"PEDCo is determining if we can have a role in this," said Keith Swerdfeger, interim president of the economic development group. "We're talking to a broad base of businesses and we believe the community should put its best foot forward in making a proposal to the state." Right now, the state corrections division is headquartered in an office building in southern Colorado Springs. Tapia said the lease on the building will expire in 2010 and the building has been plagued with problems. DOC officials have made it clear they want a new headquarters, resulting in the state asking for proposals from Front Range communities from Pueblo to Douglas County.

"El Paso County lawmakers aren't going to want to lose these jobs either," Tapia said.

Pueblo has one obvious site for the headquarters - the state-owned land on the north side of 24th Street, across from the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. "We're going to have to be creative," Tapia said. "That site has the advantage of the state already owning the property. There are other sites around the city as well. Whatever site we put forward, we are going to need architectural, financing and construction expertise."
Pueblo Chieftain


Anonymous said...

The article states that the bldg is plagued with problems?? The problem is it houses a bunch of overpaid buerocrats. Moving them to Pueblo wont make them more efficient. djw

Anonymous said...

With a director that has been doing this far too long and who just counts beds and builds prisons, even though he is sued not to build prisons and is a retired police chief (this is his second go around at this job, and he has no new ideas and a mangement staff that wants to continue the prison industrial complex, there is no reason not to spend as much money as possible to keep the 6,500 DOC employees getting pay checks. There is no reason not to fire the entire staff at the headquarters building and close down half of the prisons, for starters.
The legislature and DOC management get plenty of graft for keeping the private prison industry profitable. 2/3 of all prisoners need SECURE rehabilitation and a DOC that gives a hoot about their jobs.