Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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.

  • 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.

ACLU calls on Denver Council to reject proposal for citywide “camping ban”

The ACLU of Colorado today sent a letter to the Denver City Council, opposing the proposed city-wide ordinance to prohibit unauthorized camping, calling it an unconstitutional and mean-spirited attempt to criminalize homelessness.

In the letter dated April 16, 2012, ACLU Public Policy Director Denise Maes said the proposed ordinance is unwise because it frustrates the work of service providers and is a costly investment of city dollars. The ordinance, Maes wrote, is likely to be counterproductive, if approved, because it perpetuates the cycles of homelessness, resulting in arrests, convictions and making it more difficult for homeless people to gain housing and/or employment.

Maes said the ordinance, as proposed, criminalizes homelessness in plain view.

Denver, Maes wrote, can do better than a criminalization approach and must address the true problem of homelessness in the city.

Read the letter here.

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