Colorado Rights Blog

ACLU of Colorado By: ACLU of Colorado 5.13.2014

Gov. signs debtors’ prison ban into law

Last Friday, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB 1061, a bill to eliminate debtors’ prisons in Colorado.

An overwhelming majority in the legislature supported HB1061, which will end the expensive and inhumane practice by local municipalities of jailing people who cannot afford to pay fees or fines.

The bill, sponsored by Thornton Rep. Joe Salazar, is the result of a two-year statewide ACLU investigation into the use of debtors’ prison practices by municipal courts.

Public Policy Director Denise Maes, Sen. Guzman, Rep. Salazar, Gov. Hickenlooper, Jared Thornburg, Staff Attorney Rebecca Wallace, and Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley at the bill signing
Public Policy Director Denise Maes, Sen. Guzman, Rep. Salazar, Gov. Hickenlooper, Jared Thornburg, Staff Attorney Rebecca Wallace, and Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley at the bill signing


Read the testimony given by our Public Policy Director, Denise Maes, during the House committee hearing on February 25

Original ACLU press release on results of investigation into Colorado debtors’ prisons

Denver Post article: “Colorado cities jail poor who can’t pay fines for minor offenses”

AP article: “Jail for fines? Colo. lawmaker wants to end policy”

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