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Mike Johnston Campaign Releases Criminal Justice Reform Plan

January 9, 2018

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2018
Contact: media@mikejohnstonforcolorado.com

Denver – Today, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston released his policy framework for state-wide criminal justice reform. With this detailed release, Johnston is once again showing his determination to bridge divides in order to drive progress for Colorado. “Safety, prevention, and justice. That’s what Coloradans expect, and deserve, from our criminal justice system, but far too often, our system fails,” Johnston stated upon the unveiling of his plan.

National civil rights and criminal justice reform leader Bryan Stevenson weighed in on the plan: “These are smart, sensible, urgently needed criminal justice reform proposals that can increase public safety while ending mass incarceration. A blueprint for more cost-effective, reliable and fair administration of criminal justice.”

Johnston’s campaign laid out a three-part strategy:

  • Safety: Mike is calling for the investment of bail reform savings into the recruitment of more police officers. Police officers do incredible work all around the state of Colorado to keep us safe. More police officers lead to lower crime. What’s more, more police officers allow for increased utilizations of best-in-class community policing and the recruitment of more diverse forces.
  • Prevention: Colorado needs to stop criminalizing drug addiction and mental illness. These two problems will be addressed by expanding both drug and mental illness courts that provide alternative pathways toward treatment. In addition, Mike will invest in improving workforce development in prisons and upon reentry.
  • Justice: In addition to protecting all of us, our criminal justice system must respect the rights and dignity of all Coloradans and ensure equity. Mike is calling for the elimination of the death penalty. This plan will also reform the bail system so that Coloradans never spend nights in jail simply because they are poor. Mike will also phase out for-profit prisons; nobody should turn a profit from the incarceration of Coloradans. Finally, this plan calls for the repeal of the Habitual Offender Law for nonviolent offenders.

Mike shared that his plan “keeps us safe and lives up to our highest ideals,” and would save the state money. “Our plan would require approximately $23M annually and return savings of approximately $77M to the state and more than $25M to county governments every single year,” he said.

Ron Davis, a national leader in criminal justice reform who served as the Executive Director of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing had this to say about the plan: “Mike Johnston’s criminal justice reform plan embodies the smart on crime, 21st century policing strategies that our country needs. His proposals would strengthen and improve policing, build stronger bonds of trust between communities and police, help former offenders reintegrate into society, and make the state a safer place. Governors are uniquely positioned to reform our criminal justice system; I hope these changes are enacted and that others follow his example.”

The complete plan, including a breakdown of how it will be financed, is now available at www.mikejohnstonforcolorado.com/issues/safety-prevention-justice

For more, contact media@mikejohnstonforcolorado.com

See below for local and national leaders who have expressed support for this Criminal Justice Reform Policy.

State and National Leaders Weigh in on Mike’s Criminal Justice Reform Policy:

“These are smart, sensible, urgently needed criminal justice reform proposals that can increase public safety while ending mass incarceration. A blueprint for more cost-effective, reliable and fair administration of criminal justice.”
– Bryan Stevenson, Criminal Justice and Civil Rights Leader, Author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (#1 New York Times Bestseller)

“Mike Johnston’s criminal justice reform plan embodies the smart on crime, 21st century policing strategies that our country needs. His proposals would strengthen and improve policing, build stronger bonds of trust between communities and police, help former offenders reintegrate into society, and make the state a safer place. Governors are uniquely positioned to reform our criminal justice system; I hope these changes are enacted and that others follow his example.”
– Ron Davis, Former Executive Director, President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing; Former Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in the US Department of Justice

“Mike Johnston’s criminal justice policy is exactly what we need. We must focus more on treating mental illness and drug addiction to prevent crime, and treat all Coloradans with dignity. Phasing out for-profit prisons is a no-brainer; nobody should financially gain from the imprisonment of others.
As an African-American leader who is frequently called upon in the arena of criminal justice, it is refreshing and encouraging to read a proposed policy that recognizes that “criminal justice” absent of “justice” is just “criminal”.”
– Superintendent Patrick Demmer, Pastor of Graham Memorial Community Church Of God In Christ, Denver, CO.

“We need to keep our communities safe. As a teacher in the prison system, I know that means effective policing and incarceration for those who need it. But it also means preventing crime by treating drug addiction and mental illness and investing in opportunities for individuals when they leave our prison system. If we connect the formerly incarcerated to possibility and opportunity, we can build a safer and more just Colorado for all.”
– Catherine Graeser, Pueblo, CO

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For more news, please follow Candidate for Governor, Mike Johnston on Twitter @MikeJohnstonCO and on Facebook at Mike Johnston for Colorado Or www.mikejohnstonforcolorado.com. The full policy proposal is available here.

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