Which Way Did Colorado Legislators Vote on Civil Liberties in 2016?
As we do after every legislative session, we prepared a legislative scorecard so you, our members and supporters, can see where each legislator stands on civil liberties issues. View the 2016 ACLU of Colorado Legislative Scorecard. This year, we picked six bills to score on the scorecard. The ACLU was of course involved in many other legislative initiatives, but these six represent a cross section of civil liberties issues we work on – mass incarceration, economic justice, solitary confinement.... | Read More
Boulder’s Reputation Tainted by Aggressive Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Camping Ban
This commentary from ACLU of Colorado speaker and volunteer Darren O'Connor first appeared in the Boulder Weekly on June 9, 2016. The beauty of Boulder, nestled in the Foothills and dominated by the Flatirons, is a metro area gem that attracts a great number of visitors and would be residents wishing to enjoy its charms. Its reputation as an idyllic, liberal city, however, was recently tainted by University of Denver Law School’s report, Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs.... | Read More
2016: A Good Year (and Far Better than Expected) for Civil Liberties in the Colorado Legislature
The 120-day Colorado legislative session ended last Wednesday night, May 11. Much has been made about the failure of bipartisanship and many have referred to this year’s session as “anti-climatic” and a “house divided.” For the issues that received much media attention, I suppose these references ring true. The legislature failed to re-classify Colorado’s hospital provider fee as an enterprise fund, failed to pass a Presidential primary bill even though there were two bills, each with.... | Read More
Fact Sheet: HB 1309 – A Bill to Safeguard the Right to Counsel in Municipal Court
JAILED DEFENDANTS TOO POOR TO BOND OUT REQUIRE COUNSEL AT FIRST APPEARANCE The U.S. Supreme Court has held the first appearance in court is a “critical stage” where the defendant’s right to counsel attaches. A defendant’s first appearance involves much more than an advisement of rights, and often results in a guilty plea. At this stage, counsel can advocate for reduced bond, ensure the defendant is not inappropriately pressured to plead guilty, advise defendants on the collateral consequences.... | Read More
Fact Sheet: HB 1328 – A Bill to Protect Colorado’s Children from Solitary Confinement
Since 1999, Colorado law has prohibited the seclusion of children as punishment. Children may only be secluded during an ongoing emergency, when a child is in immediate danger of harming self or others. In June 2014, the Colorado Department of Youth Corrections (DYC) was found to have repeatedly violated the law. An investigation by the ACLU, CJDC and Colorado Disability Law revealed DYC had illegally placed children in isolation for days, weeks, even more than a month as punishment when there.... | Read More
Fact sheet: HB 1311 – A Bill to End Debtors’ Prisons in Colorado
Municipal Courts Use Legal "Loopholes" to Keep Debtors' Prisons Alive and Well Municipal courts create debtors' prisons by using jail or the threat of jail to collect debts from the poor. In 2014, the legislature passed HB-1061 with near-unanimous bipartisan support, acting to end debtors' prisons in Colorado and ensure that no one ever be incarcerated for failure to pay court debts they are too poor to pay. Municipal courts skirt the law by issuing arrest warrants for defendants who fail.... | Read More
One year ago, thousands of Coloradans marched in a historic display of resistance. At the ACLU of Colorado we carried that spirit throughout the year, fighting on many fronts for civil liberties. We won’t stop now.
By canceling DACA, Trump has put 800,000 young people at risk of losing their jobs and being deported from the only country they know as home. Passing the bipartisan Dream Act would protect them. We asked four Dreamers why the Dream Act is important to them and their future.
James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.
Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.