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.

Monday, March 02, 2009

One in 31: Pew Report On How Many Under Supervision

Hot off the presses:

Pew Report On the States: One in 31

Executive Summary:

States face the worst fiscal crisis in a generation. Shrinking budgets are forcing governors and legislators to examine all areas of public spending for possible savings, even those that have been off limits.

Corrections is a prime target for cuts. last year it was the fastest expanding major segment of state budgets, and over the past two decades, its growth as a share of state expenditures has been second only to Medicaid. State corrections costs now top $50 billion annually and consume one in every 15 discretionary dollars. The remarkable rise in corrections spending wasn't fate or eve the natural consequence of spikes in crime. It was the result of state policy choices that sent more people to prison and kept them there longer. The sentencing and release laws passed in the 1980's and 1990's put so many more people behind bars that last year the incarcerated population. reached 2.3 million and, for the first time, one in 100 adults was in prison and jail.

The escalation of the prison population has been astonishing, but it hasn't been the largest area of growth in the criminal justice system. That would be probation and parole--the sentenced who are not behind bars.

With far less notice the number of poeple on probation or parole has skyrocketed to more than
5 million, up from 1.6 million just 25 years ago. that means that 1 in 45 adults in under supervison, combined with those in priosn and jail, a stunning 1 in 31 adults, or 3.2 percent, is under some form of correctional control.