0146_Amendment T_No Exception to Involuntary Servitude Prohibition_Who would think this should be voted down?_read on_I am a NO vote_Donna Jack

Amendment T_Involuntary Servitude_Text from Blue Book_pp. 1-3
[Eight things I try to consider when deciding how to vote.]
[The 2016 Blue Book]
[The Bill of Rights in the Colorado Constitution.]
[The US Constitution Bill of Rights & Later Amendments]

Donna Jack
October 20, 2016

This particular amendment makes me very suspicious of those who initiated it.  It will be a boondoggle for attorneys (because of all the prisoners wanting to get out of working in prison, and other problems) — and conceivably will end the option of doing assigned work instead of going to prison — and it will make the cost of the prison system higher (if prisoners stop doing work in prison).

Here is the 13th Amendment to our US Constitution (US Constitution Bill of Rights):

Amendment 13 — Abolition of slavery (in our U.S. Constitution)

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce these article by appropriate legislation.

December 6, 1865.

Here is the wording Amendment T is proposing in Colorado:

“Ballot Title:
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the removal of the exception to the prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude when used as punishment for persons duly convicted of a crime?”

Note:  The argument above for it, says passing it “makes an important symbolic statement.”  This Amendment would NOT be just a symbolic statement!  It would have huge repercussions across the state, and would take away productive and rewarding work from prisoners, and those who are doing community service to work off their time instead of being in prison.

Argument against it in the Blue book:

“1)  Amendment T may result in legal uncertainty around current offender work practices in the state.  Prison work requirements provide structure and purpose for offenders, while enabling skill building and helping to reduce recidivism.  Community service programs allow offenders to engage with the community and make amends for their crimes.”

“Estimate of Fiscal Impact

“State revenue and spending.  Amendment T may impact both state revenue and spending.  Should Amendment T be interpreted as prohibiting community service sentences more fines may be imposed in place of community service and fewer probation fees may be collected from those currently sentenced to community service as the sole condition of probation.  Amendment T may also impact costs and workload for the Department of Law, Department of Corrections, and Judicial Department due to potential legal challenges.

“Local government impact.  Amendment T may increase jail and county court costs for local governments and impact revenue and workload for the City and County of Denver due to potential legal challenges.”

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