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, November 18, 2011

Breakthrough in US Drug Sentencing Reform

The Sentencing Project
In August 2010 U.S. President Barack Obama signed into
law the Fair Sentencing Act, legislation that limits the harsh
punishments that were enacted during the 1980s for lowlevel
crack cocaine offenses. At the Oval Office signing
ceremony Obama was joined by Democratic and Republican
congressional leaders who had championed reform.
That day the President’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs,
told a reporter, “I think if you look at the people that were
there at that signing, they’re not of the political persuasions
that either always or even part of the time agree. I think that
demonstrates … the glaring nature of what these penalties
had … done to people and how unfair they were.”1
Gibbs was referring to the five- and ten-year mandatory
minimum sentences prescribed under federal law for defendants
caught in possession for personal use or with the intent to
sell as little as five grams of crack cocaine. The drug penalties
were the harshest ever adopted by Congress and were set at
the height of the nation’s “war on drugs,” a time of significant
concern — and misunderstanding — about crack cocaine.

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