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.