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.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Opinion: Prison Crisis

The Gazette

On the heels of a study ranking our state as the second freest, comes a buzz kill - another report about the statewide and national obsession with incarceration.

A study by the Pew Center on the States found that Colorado ranks 15th for the number of people in cages, with one in 29 adults belonging to the correctional system (it was one in 102 in 1982). New Hampshire, ranked the freest state, has one in 88 adults in its correctional system.

The study found that soaring incarceration rates are the result of policy choices, not a crime wave.

Americans cannot continue paying for "lock 'em up and throw away the key" political promises. We must use prisons and jails to cage only dangerous criminals who otherwise pose a public threat. Non-violent offenders should not be taken from productive society to live on the public dole. It doesn't make us safer, and it's not "economic development."