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 20, 2009

Reinstating Deputy and Inmate Work Force

The Denver Post

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper hopes to reverse the recent firing of 11 sheriff's deputies by getting their colleagues who staff the city's jails to take 40-hour unpaid furloughs.

The move by the mayor comes amid concern by some council members who want to avoid losing a program that used nonviolent offenders at the jail to shovel snow from the sidewalks of the elderly, mow their lawns and spruce up city parks. The firings required the sheriff's department to end the program and redeploy deputies who had staffed it.

Last week, the mayor fired the 11 deputies to help close a $56 million budget gap that has the potential to widen even more if sales-tax revenue continues to decline.

Hickenlooper took the action, along with ordering remaining deputies to take 30 hours in unpaid furlough time, after the union rejected his plea that it accept a 2 percent cut in pay and benefits, which would have saved the city $1.2 million.

Kelly Brough, the mayor's chief of staff, and the union that represents the sheriff's deputies met Wednesday to discuss ways to reverse the firings. Brough and the union agreed to let the union poll its members to see whether they would accept a 40-hour furlough program instead.