Drug felony filings continue to increase in Colorado, driving up state prison budget. With prisons nearly full and the Department of Corrections budget closing in on $1 billion, most Coloradans want the state to seek alternatives to incarceration — including reducing the penalties for simple drug possession.
After decades of unprecedented growth, the Colorado prison population declined dramatically from 2010-2013 as a result of intentional efforts by legislators, criminal justice agencies, and the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Colorado was not alone, as states across the country embarked on their own efforts to reign in burgeoning prison populations and budgets.
Most people with criminal records are eligible to vote in Colorado. Unfortunately, this is not widely known. According to a survey commissioned by the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, there is significant public confusion surrounding the voting rights of individuals currently involved in the justice system.
$1 Billion Prison Budget Looms for Colorado. A surge in drug felony filings — mostly for simple possession — is driving demand for prison beds and having a disproportionate impact on women.