Sallie Clark hopes to add perspective to the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, a board to which she was appointed Nov. 20 by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“I think having a voice at the table for county commissioners is important,” said Clark, recently elected to a third term as El Paso County commissioner. “Sometimes things are passed to reduce the state budget but that just pushes it down to the county level. I have an understanding of how we need to work together and change for the better.”

The mission of the 26-member board is to enhance public safety, ensure justice and protect rights of victims through cost-effective use of public resources.

“Our county tax dollars fund the district attorney’s office, the court system, the sheriff and the jail,” Clark said. “Financing the jail is the biggest cost.”

Clark said repeat criminal offenders have created what she called a “revolving door” for jails. She said some innovative El Paso County programs are reducing recidivism but aren’t getting state or federal support. Clark cited the Veterans Court, Sheriff Terry Maketa’s reentry and reintegration programs, and District Attorney Dan May’s juvenile diversion program.

“I think I can help bring the three levels of government — federal, state and local — together better and provide perspective,” Clark said.

Clark has served on the National Association of Counties Justice and Public Safety committee, is former vice-chair of that group’s Juvenile Justice subcommittee, and chairs its Court subcommittee.

Contact Bob Stephens: 636-0276 Twitter @bobgstephens

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