Colorado Rights Blog

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  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

About Us

The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. We’re a private institution funded exclusively by the generous donations of our supporters. Our mission is to protect, defend and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado through litigation, education and advocacy. Here’s how our staff fights for your rights, and the rights of all Coloradans, in each of these three arenas:

Litigation & Legal Advocacy

Our legal department writes letters, talks to government agencies and, if necessary, files lawsuits on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated. With only three full-time attorneys on staff, we must be very selective in the cases we choose. We receive approximately 10,000 requests for assistance each year, and litigate 50-70 cases with the assistance of approximately 100 volunteer cooperating attorneys. Learn more about our legal work, including our docket of recent cases.


Public Policy & Legislation

At the state capitol and at city council meetings across Colorado, the ACLU advocates for rational laws that protect people’s rights and liberties. And after each session, we develop Legislative Scorecards so you can see how your elected officials voted on civil liberties.
Keep up with all of our public policy work.


Public Education

The more you know about your rights, the harder it is for the government–or anyone else–to take them from you. The ACLU engages and informs Coloradans through public forums on current civil liberties issues, “Know Your Rights” trainings, rallies and media events. We also work with students and young professionals who are interested in civil liberties. Get to know your rights through our public education offerings.