Overuse of the criminal justice system has caused significant harm to Colorado communities. It has separated and damaged families, strained relations between citizens and police, and resulted in far too many people having criminal records, which make it difficult for them to access housing, employment, scholarships, and other benefits. It has also had a disproportionately larger impact on communities of color, undermining the legitimacy of the criminal justice system itself.
Despite unprecedented levels of “public safety” spending, many of the communities that struggle with higher crime rates are still not being offered effective safety solutions. They are being overpoliced and often racially profiled, and they underserved when it comes to mental health and addiction treatment, services for crime victims, and other programs.
CCJRC4Action has a different vision for criminal justice in Colorado. It aims to provide communities with effective, just, and equitable health and safety solutions that recognize citizens, families and communities — and not just police and prosecutors — play an essential role in addressing public safety challenges. And while law enforcement and the criminal justice system will also continue to play a role, we believe their roles should be reduced, more humane, and racially equitable.
- Substantial reductions in the number of adults and juveniles who are incarcerated and otherwise under criminal justice supervision.
- Elimination of racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
- Increased transparency and accountability for police, prosecutors, and judges.
- A new policy model for addressing addiction. Specifically, one that is integrated into a health care and trauma recovery framework; grounded in harm reduction principles and practices; and adequately funded to provide treatment on demand at the level needed and in a gender- and culturally responsive manner.
- A reduction in public funding for police, criminal justice agencies, and adult and youth corrections, and re-investment of the savings into community-led health, safety and opportunity strategies in communities impacted by higher rates of crime, policing, and incarceration. Learn more about the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition’s Community Reinvestment Initiatives.