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  • 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.

Category Archives: Criminalization of Homelessness

2.22.17

Denver’s Park Banishment Program Ruled Unconstitutional

2/22/17 DENVER – A county court judge ruled this morning that Denver’s park exclusion directive is unconstitutional because it denies fundamental rights to due process.  The court dismissed all charges against Troy Holm, an ACLU of Colorado client who faced a year in jail for entering a park after he was banned under the directive. “By authorizing police to issue so-called suspension notices that immediately made it a crime to enter a public park, Denver attempted an end-run around the.... | Read More

2.16.17

ACLU to Fort Collins: Sit-Lie Proposal is Outrageous, Cruel, and Absurd

2/16/17 DENVER – In a letter sent today, the ACLU of Colorado called on the Fort Collins City Council to abandon an “outrageous, cruel, and absurd” proposed ordinance that would make it a crime, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $2650, to sit, kneel, or lie down in a large portion of downtown, to sit for too long on public benches, or to have more “attended property” than a person can carry, such as a shopping cart filled with possessions. “The intention of.... | Read More

1.25.17

ACLU Calls on Denver to End Unconstitutional Park Banishment Program

1/25/17 DENVER – In a letter sent this morning, the ACLU of Colorado demanded that the Denver Parks Department stop enforcement of an unconstitutional and ineffective temporary directive authorizing police to banish people from city parks, without a hearing, conviction, or other due process, based on mere suspicion of illegal drug activity. “Denver’s program of expelling persons from public parks is an end run around constitutional protections,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director.... | Read More

12.9.16

ACLU to Denver Police: Stop Taking Blankets from Homeless People

DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver City Council today responding to widely-circulated videos (video1, video2) showing Denver Police taking blankets, tents, and survival gear from people experiencing homelessness as “evidence” of violations of the Denver camping ban, which criminalizes sleeping outside with a blanket, sleeping bag, or any other form of cover or shelter. The letter demands that the City immediately (1) direct its police.... | Read More

9.1.16

ACLU of Colorado Statement on Denver’s New Park Banishment Directive

9/1/16 DENVER – Yesterday, Denver officials announced a new directive empowering police to unilaterally ban people from public parks based on an accusation of perceived drug use.  According to the directive, a person does not need to be charged, tried, or convicted of any crime for a ban notice, which is punishable by jail if violated, to be issued.   ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley issued the following statement: “Denver’s park banishment directive is.... | Read More

8.31.16

Thirty-Four Colorado Cities Must Repeal Unconstitutional Loitering Laws

DENVER – In a letter sent today to 34 Colorado municipalities that make it a crime to “loiter for the purpose of begging,” the ACLU of Colorado demanded that municipal authorities stop enforcement and take immediate steps to repeal the “legally indefensible” ordinances. “These outdated ordinances, which prohibit peaceful, nonintrusive requests for charity in any and every public place, must be taken off the books,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein.  “As courts.... | Read More

8.19.16

ACLU Opposes the Use of Private Contractors to Perform Police Actions on the 16th Street Mall

8/19/16 Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley: The ACLU of Colorado opposes the use of private contractors to perform police actions on the 16th Street Mall. While the Downtown Denver Partnership and city officials are concerned with “perceptions of safety” on the Mall, this approach carries the potential for real civil liberties violations, racial and economic profiling, and the undermining of reforms by the Denver Police Department intended to improve.... | Read More

5.2.16

Bills to Protect the Rights of Poor Defendants in Municipal Court Receive Broad Bipartisan Support, Head to the Governor’s Desk

DENVER – The Colorado legislature passed two pieces of legislation in recent days to protect the rights of poor and vulnerable defendants in Colorado’s municipal courts.  Both bills await Governor Hickenlooper’s signature. Nearly three-fourths of Colorado’s lawmakers supported HB16 – 1309 (fact sheet), a bill to safeguard the right to counsel in municipal court.  In state and county courts, an attorney is available at first appearance to advocate for the release of jailed defendants.... | Read More

3.8.16

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on Downtown Denver Homeless Sweeps

3/8/16 “The ACLU of Colorado is deeply concerned by the City of Denver’s approach to the visible presence of people who are homeless downtown, including today’s sweep and seizure of personal possessions in the areas directly adjacent to the Rescue Mission, St. Francis Center, and Samaritan House. “Since the last sweep of the same area on a frigid, snowy December night last year, the number of people trying to exist and survive without housing in Denver has continued to grow.  Denver.... | Read More

2.24.16

Prepared Testimony of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on the Right to Rest Act

2/24/16 Today, the Local Government Committee of the Colorado House of Representatives will consider House Bill 1191, a bill to ensure that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances or social status, have the right to rest and move about in public places without fear of being ticketed, harassed, or arrested. The following is the prepared testimony of ACLU of Colorado Executive Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on HB 1191: Thank you Madam Chair and members of the committee. My name is.... | Read More





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