Non-profit

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC)

Website:

www.ccjrc.org/

Location:

Denver, CO

Tax ID:

84-1449882

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $1,166,991
Expenses: $806,481
Assets: $2,276,111

Formation:

1999 (tax exemption received in 2003)

Type:

Left-of-center activism and lobbying organization

Executive Director:

Christine M. Donner

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC) is a left-of-center activist and lobbying group which operates in the area around Denver and focuses on issues of crime, policing, and prisons. CCJRC has campaigned against development of both state-operated and privately operated prisons and sued to prevent legally mandated prison construction, while supporting legislation to defund existing prisons.

It also advocates for decreasing sentences for violent felonies, decriminalizing drug-related crimes, the replacement of police with social workers in crime prevention, providing expanded counseling services to criminals and their victims, and the establishment of universal government-provided health care, among other left-of-center policies.

Founding and History

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC) was founded in 1999, originally under the name “Colorado Prison Moratorium Coalition,” to support a bill which would halt development of prisons statewide. The bill failed to pass the Colorado legislature both in 1999 and 2000. The group rebranded as the CCJRC in 2002 and received nonprofit status the following year. It had previously been operated by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and Epimethian Press, a left-leaning think tank and education fund. 1

CCJRC successfully lobbied for a 2002 bill which restricted asset forfeiture, and in 2003 similarly ensured the passage of a bill to alter the parole process while unsuccessfully suing the state to stop the construction of a new state prison. CCJRC went on to lobby against the development of private penitentiary institutions while working to defund existing prisons. 2

When the Colorado legislature established the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice in 2007, CCJRC was given spots in several subcommittees. Executive director Christine Donner, who previously held a position on the legislative subcommittee, holds a position on the sentencing reform task force.  3 The commission can recommend legislation to the state legislature. 4

In 2020, CCJRC was involved in the passage of a bill which decreased penalties for prisoners who escaped halfway houses and restricted the ability of other states to transfer prisoners to Colorado prisons in exchange for authorizing the reopening of a state prison. 5 Donner called the bill a compromise, saying “We’re pleased with the components — the right balance was struck. We don’t love the whole thing, but that’s the intention of bargains.” 6

That same year, CCJRC established a branch organization called CCJRC4Action to be electorally active, publishing voter guides and hosting candidate forums. 7 CCJRC4Action endorsed Democratic nominees Alexis King and Amy Padden for district attorney of the 1st and 18th Judicial Districts, respectively. 8

In 2022, CCJRC received a grant of $500,000 from the Public Welfare Foundation. 9

Lobbying and Activism

Although Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition was formed to campaign against prisons, it has expanded to a variety of issues relating to criminal law. CCJRC advocates for increased spending for the use of social workers rather than police for crime prevention, as well as providing counseling services to victims and released prisoners. It frames this advocacy in explicitly racial terms, focusing efforts on “communities of color” which are statistically more likely to both perpetrate and be victims of crime. 10

CCJRC also advocates for decreasing sentences for violent felonies, decriminalization of drug-related crimes, and for increased government-provided health care. 11

References

  1. “Who We Are.” Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.ccjrc.org/who-we-are/
  2. “Who We Are.” Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.ccjrc.org/who-we-are/
  3. “Committees.” Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://ccjj.colorado.gov/ccjj-committees
  4. “Who We Are.” Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.ccjrc.org/who-we-are/
  5. Elise Schmelzer. “More changes to Colorado’s courts, jails and prisons under consideration in statehouse.” The Denver Post. March 5, 2020. https://www.denverpost.com/2020/03/05/colorado-criminal-justice-reform-2020/
  6.  Elise Schmelzer. “More changes to Colorado’s courts, jails and prisons under consideration in statehouse.” The Denver Post. March 5, 2020. https://www.denverpost.com/2020/03/05/colorado-criminal-justice-reform-2020/
  7. Michael Karlik. “Criminal justice reform group to get involved in DA elections.” Colorado Politics. September 15, 2020. https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/criminal-justice-reform-group-to-get-involved-in-da-elections/article_6129481a-f77f-11ea-be78-97840dfa2834.html
  8.  Michael Karlik. “Criminal justice reform group endorses King, Padden in DA races.” Colorado Politics. October 15, 2020. https://www.coloradopolitics.com/2020-election/criminal-justice-reform-group-endorses-king-padden-in-da-races/article_043d8698-0f08-11eb-911b-3f52bacb8d47.html
  9. “Public Welfare Foundation announces new grants.” Public Welfare Foundation. May 24, 2022. https://www.publicwelfare.org/resource/public-welfare-foundation-announces-new-grants-10/
  10. “Making a Difference.” Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.ccjrc.org/making-change/
  11. “Making a Difference.” Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. Accessed December 14, 2022. https://www.ccjrc.org/making-change/
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1998

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $1,166,991 $806,481 $2,276,111 $117 N $1,137,229 $0 $5,558 $96,457
    2019 Dec Form 990 $986,779 $808,898 $1,350,623 $139 N $911,801 $38,793 $2,051 $92,158 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $958,732 $762,048 $1,172,745 $142 N $826,130 $91,343 $1,983 $89,290 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $995,658 $586,530 $976,115 $196 N $956,908 $506 $1,170 $339,226 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $625,372 $539,525 $567,693 $902 N $587,799 $6,856 $544 $280,449
    2015 Dec Form 990 $408,610 $430,268 $481,744 $800 N $339,310 $52,105 $383 $272,170 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $371,289 $418,885 $503,875 $1,273 N $272,868 $72,474 $381 $230,878 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $524,965 $354,109 $551,547 $1,349 N $384,757 $83,931 $347 $77,226 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $233,737 $388,344 $381,140 $1,798 N $169,094 $16,656 $2,829 $72,012 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $541,149 $333,434 $537,143 $3,194 N $416,172 $91,815 $1,366 $70,846 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC)


    Denver, CO