CURE began in San Antonio, Texas in 1972. A dozen citizens, all families of prisoners or concerned citizens, were anxious to make changes to abolish the death penalty and went to the state legislature in Austin to work toward change. In 1975, CURE organized formally with an annual convention and a constitution. In 1985, CURE expanded to become a formal national organization and moved to Washington, D.C. Under the able direction of Charlie and Pauline Sullivan, CURE is recognized as the leading organization making efforts to reduce crime through criminal justice reform. Colorado-CURE was founded in 1990 and many of the original board are still active today.
CURE maintains an organized presence in most states, either through state chapters, contact chapters (the first step toward becoming a chapter), or organizations with similar goals who affiliate with CURE.
There are 2.5 million incarcerated in prisons and jails in the United States. Prisoners cannot vote, but their family members and friends can. One of the goals of all CURE chapters is to make sure that everyone knows who their legislators are and to assist them in registering to vote. No vote means no voice.
The members of the National Board of Directors of CURE set policy. Each state chapter elects one board member and one is elected at the national convention. The national board hires the executive director of national CURE. This Board meets once a year. Every other year, CURE’s national chair, vice-chair and secretary, called the Executive Committee, are elected from the active board members and by the same board members.