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: Criminal Justice
ACLU sues on behalf of Colorado woman who was jailed 27 days because she could not pay a $55 fee
DENVER - The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in federal court this morning against El Paso County on behalf of Jasmine Still, a Colorado Springs resident who was held in jail for 27 days after a court granted her release, without payment of money, through a personal recognizance bond (PR bond). Despite the court’s order, El Paso County continued to hold Ms. Still, because she was unable to pay a $55 fee for El Paso County Pretrial Services. According to the lawsuit, El Paso County has a policy.... | Read More
ACLU Report Highlights Abusive and Unconstitutional Practices in Colorado City Courts
DENVER – Colorado’s more than 200 municipal courts operate without meaningful accountability or oversight, and one court in particular — the Alamosa Municipal Court— systematically violates the constitutional rights of its mainly impoverished criminal defendants, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Colorado. Justice Derailed: A case study of abusive and unconstitutional practices in Colorado city courts is based on a multi-year ACLU investigation which revealed that, despite.... | Read More
ACLU Seeks Compensation for Colorado Man Who Spent 52 Days in Jail Waiting to See a Judge
09/07/17 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit this morning against the Pueblo and Teller County Sheriff’s Offices on behalf of Michael Bailey, who was held in jail for 52 days on a years-old misdemeanor warrant awaiting his first appearance before a judge. The lawsuit, which was filed this morning in federal district court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages. On Sept. 8, 2015, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mr. Bailey on a four-year-old misdemeanor warrant.... | Read More
ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Life-Saving Treatment for Thousands of Colorado Prisoners Suffering from Hepatitis C
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a federal class action lawsuit this morning challenging the Colorado Department of Corrections’ systematic denial of life-saving treatment to more than 2,200 prisoners suffering from chronic Hepatitis C. “Colorado has an immense public health crisis in its prisons. At least one in every nine prisoners suffers from Hepatitis C, and complications from the disease kill nearly as many Coloradans in custody every year as drug and alcohol abuse, homicide,.... | Read More
ACLU Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Signing Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
DENVER – This afternoon, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on Tuesday urging the Governor to sign the bill and “not stand in the way of bipartisan reform.” ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes issued the following statement: “The.... | Read More
ACLU Urges Governor Hickenlooper to Sign Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
DENVER – In a letter from Public Policy Director Denise Maes, the ACLU of Colorado strongly urged Governor Hickenlooper to sign HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. “Civil asset forfeiture reform passed the legislature by a combined vote of 81 to 19. It was supported by Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, progressives.... | Read More
Bill to Reform Youth Corrections Heads to the Governor’s Desk
DENVER – The Colorado Legislature gave final approval last night to HB 1329, a bill to bring systematic change to the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC). HB 1329 will increase transparency within DYC and create a 2-year pilot program focused on treatment and rehabilitation of kids without the use of punitive measures, such as solitary confinement, mechanical restraints, and pain compliance. The Division of Youth Corrections will also be renamed the Division of Youth Services and the.... | Read More
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
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
Debtors’ Prison Settlement: Aurora Cancels Debt, Withdraws Warrants, and Repays James Fisher for Excessive Payments to Municipal Court
1\23\17 DENVER – The City of Aurora has agreed to cancel hundreds of dollars of debt and reimburse nearly $800 in overpayments that James Fisher made to the Aurora Municipal Court while he attempted to resolve rapidly-ballooning fees that he could not afford to pay, according to a settlement announced today by the ACLU of Colorado. "James Fisher was trapped in a cycle of debt that is all too familiar to thousands of low-income Coloradans ticketed for minor ordinance violations. He made.... | Read More
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