Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

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CCJRC Overview

Since 1985, Colorado has experienced unprecedented growth in the prison population and budget. The prison population ballooned from under 4,000 people to over 23,000 people between 1985 and 2007. The annual state prison budget grew from under $70 million in 1985 to over $700 million today. The state also spent over $800 million building new prisons and currently contracts with 7 private prisons.

CCJRC was founded in 1999 to support legislation sponsored by Senator Dorothy Rupert (Boulder) and Representative Penfield Tate (Denver) for a three-year halt on prison expansion. Although unsuccessful, this campaign launched CCJRC's efforts to build a statewide, grassroots movement for criminal justice reform.

Today, CCJRC includes over 112 organizations and faith communities and over 6,800 individual members throughout the state. CCJRC has intentionally built a diverse, bi-partisan coalition that includes criminal justice reform organizations, educators, students, prisoners, former prisoners, prisoners' family members, attorneys, mental health advocates, substance abuse treatment providers, racial justice advocates, victims advocates, child welfare professionals, various faith communities, fiscal conservatives, civil libertarians, business owners, and women's organizations.

People who have directly been impacted by crime and the criminal justice system play a significant role in CCJRC as members, volunteers, staff and Board of Directors.

CCJRC was originally founded as a project of the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center and incorporated as an independent non-profit in 2003.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We also strongly oppose the for-profit, private prison industry and its presence in Colorado.

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1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men sent to prison were convicted of a drug offense.

69% of people in Colorado prisons for drug offenses, are people of color.