Making Change

Coloradans from many different experiences and perspectives are joining together to end the era of mass incarceration, racial disparity and a failed drug war. Through a new vision and an aggressive agenda, we’re advancing a broader debate and design of public health, safety and funding strategies through collective action. We are also here to help people. The last four decades of over-criminalization and missed opportunities for real crime prevention has done significant damage to individuals, families and communities and repairing that harm, to the greatest extent possible, is essential to us.

Learn more about our current programs and initiatives below.

Take Care Health Matters

On any given day, over 100,000 adults are involved in the criminal justice system in Colorado and the majority of whom are now eligible for health insurance as a result of healthcare reforms. Better access to healthcare not only improves the quality of life for individuals, it is also essential in the decades-long effort to end the “war on drugs” and anchor drug policy more appropriately into healthcare and harm reduction strategies and dramatically less in criminal justice. CCJRC launched our Take Care Health Matters (TCHM) campaign in 2013 specifically to improve healthcare coverage and access for justice involved people.

For more information about health care coverage and services, see

We can provide free trainings and copies of our educational materials. Contact us at  (303) 825-0122 or email Terri Hurst, Policy Coordinator.

Public Policy

In 1985, the era of mass incarceration started in Colorado when the state legislature passed a bill that doubled all felony sentences and the prison population doubled in the next five years. Mass incarceration is based on the laws, government infrastructure, funding and policies that make up its architecture. Ending mass incarceration and the overuse of the criminal justice system requires a dismantling of this architecture with a new transformational vision for community health and safety. CCJRC is a well-respected and effective voice at the state Capitol and ensures that people directly impacted participate in the design and debate around criminal justice policy and state budget priorities.

  • Who is My Elected Official: Type in your address and find out who your elected officials are both state and federal level
  • The Colorado General Assembly’s website has up-to-date information on the status of bills during the legislative session as well as other information pertaining to the legislative and budgeting process. You can also access state statutes from this site.

Sign up to receive action alerts, upcoming events and important news related to our public policy work.

Community Reinvestment

CCJRC has been a pioneer in a strategy we call Community Reinvestment whereby state funds are provided to support community-led and community-based safety strategies. This investment is targeted to help people and communities most impacted by crime and the overuse of the criminal justice system. CCJRC wrote and successfully advocated for the passage of three initiatives currently in effect in Colorado that will provide over $50 million in state funds over the next few years for reentry, crime prevention, and victim services. For more information, contact us at  (303) 825-0122 or email Christie Donner, Executive Director.

Crime Survivors

In 2015, CCJRC expanded its work to partner with crime survivors and organizations that provide community-based victim services. This new work is rooted in the reality that communities of color sit at the crossroads of both higher rates of incarceration and victimization. This campaign seeks to transform the historical separation between advocates who are “for victims” or those that are “for offenders”. Our intention is to cultivate common ground in a safe space to identify strategies that will strengthen community-based services for crime survivors that are currently underserved and advance policies that promote health, safety and equality for all in our communities.

For more information, contact us at  (303) 825-0122 or email Juston L. Cooper, Deputy Director.

Voting With Conviction

Many people believe that once you have a criminal record you can never vote in Colorado. This is not true! Since 2006, CCJRC has run the only civic engagement campaign in Colorado that focuses exclusively on people with criminal records. In addition to statewide voter education, CCJRC provides free trainings to election officials, GOTV efforts, Voter Registration Drives, community organizations, and our members on the nuances of voting eligibility for people with criminal histories. Building political power together requires participation. We don’t care if you like politics or politicians but we do care that you Use Your Voice—Register to Vote & Vote!  We can provide free trainings and copies of our educational materials. Contact us at  (303) 825-0122 or email Juston Cooper, Deputy Director.

 Visit to learn more about if you can vote and information about volunteer opportunities.

Know Your District Attorney

The power of the state to prosecute and punish people for crimes is an awesome power that is held solely by the District Attorney. In Colorado, the District Attorney is an elected official in each of the state’s twenty-two judicial districts, which will all hold elections in 2020. Their power and influence extends well beyond the courtroom to include the state Legislature where criminal justice policy and state budgets are set. CCJRC works to educate voters about candidates running for District Attorney and engages in other strategies that increase transparency and hold District Attorneys accountable to the communities they are entrusted to serve.

For more information, contact us at  (303) 825-0122 or email Juston L. Cooper, Deputy Director.

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Incarceration Crisis in Colorado Thumbnail

Incarceration Crisis in Colorado

Over the past 35 years, the state prison budget has exploded by almost 1288% and we’ve seen an unprecedented growth in the prison population.

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People Impacted Thumbnail

People Impacted

When you combine the closing of mental health facilities with a war on drugs, you get an enormous ripple effect across our communities.

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Public Safety That Works Thumbnail

Public Safety That Works

We’re often ignoring alternative strategies that do work to prevent crime. For example, research shows that higher levels of household income are associated with lower rates of intimate partner violence against women.

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Compromising Our Children

Compromising Our Children’s Futures

The unprecedented growth in prison spending is one of the reasons that Colorado ranks at the bottom of states for public investment in education.

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