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.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Inmate Hangs Self At the Denver County Jail

The Denver Post

A 25-year-old man who just completed a 15-day sentence for shoplifting and disturbing the peace hung himself late Thursday at the Denver County Jail while waiting extradition to Kansas on a drug charge.

The man was identified by authorities as Thomas Allen Barton, who was arrested Aug. 10 in the 2100 block of Sheridan on the shoplifting and disturbance charges.

Family members in Kansas said that Barton was an alias for Jason Lea Willis.
According to a news release from Capt. Frank Gale, spokesman for the Denver Sheriff's Department, deputies found the man they knew as Barton in his cell at 4:48 p.m.

Barton fashioned his bedsheet into a makeshift noose and tied it to the cell bunk. He then positioned himself in such a way that the sheet tightened around his neck, said Gale.
Gale said that the jail medical staff got to Barton within two minutes after he was initially found and began emergency treatment.

The Denver Fire Department and Denver paramedics arrived within 10 minutes and took over for the jail staff but Barton was pronounced dead at the University of Colorado Hospital shortly after he arrived there, according Gale.


Anonymous said...

So sad! Was he coming down from a substance and no one cared to observe? Everyone has a story and everyone needs help - but help is not there. How about jail volunteers maybe called "Pseudo Family Inc." Someone that cares that isn't a paid jail employee.

Anonymous said...

It is sad -- if it's true. If not true, even sadder.