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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DOC Preps Inmates For Early Release

Pueblo Chieftain
CANON CITY - Colorado Department of Corrections officials are paving a new approach for releasing prisoners into the community in a bid to both maintain safety and save the state millions of dollars.

Gov. Bill Ritter announced the Accelerated Transition Pilot program in August. By next June 30, an estimated 2,720 inmates out of 3,400 parole eligible will be on the streets saving the state $19 million in prison housing costs.

"These are all inmates who are parole eligible and going to be released within six months anyway," said Katherine Sanguinetti, DOC spokeswoman.

"Those who are eligible will be re-reviewed, or in some cases, go before the parole board for the first time and it will be up to the parole board to decide. We've been told about 20 percent will not be approved by the parole board," Sanguinetti said.

Once released the former inmates will not be left on their own to try to find new footing on the outside. Inmates who are deemed eligible for release will receive enhanced services on parole such as monitoring by Global Positioning System, paging, urine analysis and other methods. "This program will help them transition from prison to parole with enhanced mental health and substance abuse treatment, help with psychotropic drugs for those who are prescribed them, housing, employment and transportation support," Sanguinetti said.

"It is better to have them out in the community with services for the first two to six months because they are much more likely to succeed," Sanguinetti said.

Another estimated 2,900 prisoners who are within six months of being released from prison will be granted early parole by June 30, 2011, saving the state an additional $25 million.


Anonymous said...


At least it's a start.

There is so much irrational fear tied to the release of these inmates. The great majority of them will not be a problem among society. The problem will be the continued discrimination against these men and women trying to get a start on life once released.

Somehow or the other, CCJJ must find a reasonable remedy to help promote education, jobs and good rental areas for them.

I have spoken with a few apartment managers who fully understand the unfair treatment the released inmate receives. They (personally) would interview and accept the majority of these guys and gals. What stops them is the corporate interests and policies coming high up from these places. These policies cave in to fear-based propoganda rather than reason. The end result is, again, money.

I'm curious as to why Colorado has permitted incarcerations to burst beyond logic. 2006 was the highest year for incarcerations. It bounced back on them. It bounced back on the entire state of Colorado, (the people), in every area of economics and plain common sense.

The old cliche' "what goes around comes around" appears to be founded on Universal/God principles.

Anonymous said...

Most of these inmates released thru DOC's methods and plaNS WILL FAIL AND THATS THE REAL PROBLEM. They need to be released to family where ever they wish to go and not thru DOC's meyhod of thru down town Denver which is the worst atmosphere these people can ever be placed in. The release of non violent inmates isnt the problem. DOC IS THE REAL PROBLEM. They cant seem to get along without collecting and charging for urine samples. Thats all the inmate needs is more expense??? I think Colorado has the most screwed up DOC in the USA. With legislature's like May and Penry its easy to see how it got so messed up. djw