Colorado Rights Blog


  • Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley spoke at the marriage equality rally on March 3rd

  • Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.

Senate passes ban on long-term solitary confinement of inmates with serious mental illness

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes

“Today’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 64 is further evidence of a growing consensus among lawmakers, prison officials, and civil liberties advocates in Colorado that warehousing prisoners with mental illness in long-term solitary confinement is a cruel, costly, and unlawful practice that unnecessarily jeopardizes public safety.

“The legislation, championed by Senator Jesse Ulibarri, solidifies and provides critical funding to implement reforms initiated recently by the Department of Corrections to provide adequate out-of-cell treatment for prisoners with serious mental illness, rather than sticking those prisoners in 23 hour-a-day solitary cells.  Treatment aimed at rehabilitation is critical, because 97% of today’s prison population will eventually be back in our communities and live as our neighbors.

“The ACLU of Colorado urges swift action in the House to finalize this groundbreaking legislation and deliver it to the Governor.”

Visit the Stop Solitary campaign page:

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – The Story of Sam Mandez:

Read our report on mentally ill Colorado prisoners in solitary confinement:

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