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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Special Kind Of Justice: Can Veterans Courts Keep Former Soldiers Out of Jail

No matter whom you talk to, U.S. prisons are described as overcrowded and penitentiary systems are overtaxed. Enter the collaborative court system, a series of court programs around the country aimed at keeping certain types of prisoners from entering the prison population to begin with.
You may have heard the phrase "drug courts," but special courts for military veterans are also on the upswing, especially in states like California, which has a penal code that explicitly allows for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or similar problems to earn "credit" for time spent in court-ordered treatment programs.
For many, veterans' courts are a welcome combination of sentencing and treatment, requiring that veterans arrested for particular crimes make reparations by attending court sessions every one to three weeks for a period of 18 months, as well as following a specific treatment path.
A much praised example of these courts is part of the California Superior Court in Orange County, where Judge Wendy Lindley presides. Their clients are provided with peer mentors, counseling and other services, all of which is said to keep recidivism down, although the stats aren't officially in yet.

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