Skip to main content

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Coalition is an issue-based organization designed to raise awareness around the realities of incarcerated individuals and the prison systems they are placed in. In the past, this coalition has worked directly with Colorado College faculty that support the “Liberal Arts in Correctional Facilities” Initiative, whose purpose is to improve the outcomes for incarcerated individuals and their communities by
expanding access to higher education in the state correctional system.

However, the primary purpose of the coalition is to connect interested Colorado College students to possible engagement work with student-led groups or with local communities partners who focus on issue areas surrounding criminal justice. Throughout the year, as a unified group, the coalition engages in project-based community engagement, awareness-building, meaningful conversations, collective learning, and more.

The injustices surrounding the current criminal justice system is a prominent issue in our society, and if you are interested at all, we encourage you to join our coalition. Together, we can enact meaningful, long-lasting change.

Current State of the Issue at CC

Groups

  • Prison Project
    • Overseen by Professor Carol Neel from the History Department
    • Working alongside Collective for Anti-Racism and Liberation (CAL)
    • Student Leaders: Charlotte Blum (c_blum@coloradocollege.edu) and Eloise Kelly
      (e_kelly@coloradocollege.edu)
    • The mission of the Prison Project is prison reform advocacy and education on our campus. We believe that every person is complicit in the injustices of incarceration, so we must utilize our power and resources to make change in our community.
  • Justice Watch
    • Student Leader: Katie Wang (ke_wang@coloradocollege.edu) and Anjali Khanna
      (a_khanna@coloradocollege.edu)
    • The goal of Justice Watch is to be the eyes and ears of the community by addressing the lack of a group that independently monitors local judges and attorneys to keep them accountable for unfair treatment. It also seeks to address a lack of awareness, on the part of students, of what goes on in the justice system at a local level. To address these problems, Justice Watch brings students to the El Paso County courthouse to monitor these legal players. This group offers an opportunity for low time commitment volunteer work that has a high impact on the community and the members involved. The group drives students to the courthouse every second and third Monday of the block to observes/monitors court rooms for roughly one hour.

Local Organizations

  • Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
    • CCJRC has been a pioneer in a strategy called 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.
    • Based in Denver, Colorado
  • Teen Court
    • Colorado Springs Teen Court is a unique and highly successful approach to juvenile
      crime. This independent non-profit program provides an alternative to the regular
      Municipal Court sentencing for first-time misdemeanor offenses committed by young
      people between 10 and 18 years of age. The purpose of Teen Court is to hold youth
      offenders accountable for their actions and to assist them in making better life
      choices through relevant sentencing options.
  • Positive Impact CO
    • A faith-based organization that supports formerly incarcerated adults in their
      transition back home
  • Padres y Jóvenes
    • Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who
      work for educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights and advocating for equal
      access to achieve a better quality of life.
    • Based in Denver, Colorado
  • Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission
    • PPJPC is a voice for social justice and nonviolence in the Pikes Peak region.

How to Get Involved

Issue Organizer: Denise Geronimo
Paraprofessional Project Advisor(s): Coming soon!

Join Now (Slack)! (Prison Project and CAL have merged for 2020-2021)

Join the CCE's Criminal Justice Outlook group!

Resources

Panels

  • Watch the Criminal Justice Coalition Issue Panel, from Thursday, March 11, 2021.

Local Information

Documentary Films

  • “13th,” (Netflix) directed by Ava DuVernay, provides an in-depth look at how the the U.S. prison system operates
Presentations, Panels, & Short Clips
  • Listen to lawyer, activist, and founder/director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson’s talk today for his thoughts on the power of reinforced identity and affirmation against injustice, relating to his work with individuals who are incarcerated and on death row. Check it out through this link.
  • This is a great short video narrated by John Legend about the effects of money bail as it relates to the US criminal justice system
  • Truths About the U.S. Prison System and Criminal Justice Reform Now! are both great TED Talk playlists cultivated by the platform.

Podcast Episodes & Series

  • “The US is addicted to incarceration. Here's how to break the cycle” by Robin Steinberg and Manoush Zomorodi, a TedTalk Daily podcast that covers topics such as bail that are not as often understood or mentioned in the discourse around incarceration.
  • The podcast series called “Justice in America” from The Appeal, featuring Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith III, “is a podcast for everyone interested in criminal justice reform—from those new to the
    criminal justice system to experts who want to know more.” The first episode? Called “Justice for the Rich, Money Bail,” this first episode talks about the major need for change when it comes to our money bail system in the U.S.
  • Police reform: The Case for Defunding the Police podcast episode from the New York Times “The Daily” series
  • This Land is a podcast series covering “two crimes nearly two centuries apart” that have “provided the backbone to a 2020 Supreme Court decision” made recently, in July, determining the fate of five tribes and a huge amount of land in Wyoming.
  • “Confronting the American Way of Policing:” a podcast episode featuring Alex Vitale, a sociologist and police reform advocate
  • 70 Million, a documentary podcast series focused on criminal justice reform

Websites, Databases & Newsletters

Report an issue - Last updated: 03/15/2021