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: Stop Solitary
Colorado Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Children from Solitary Confinement
DENVER - Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes on HB 1328, a bill to protect Colorado children from solitary confinement, which was approved today by the Colorado House of Representatives, after passing the Senate unanimously last week. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado commends the Colorado legislature for taking action to protect children from inhumane and dangerous solitary confinement. HB 1328 puts in place permanent guardrails and oversight measures.... | Read More
Governor Hickenlooper Signs Ban on Long Term Solitary Confinement of Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness
June 6, 2014 DENVER - Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes on SB 64, a bill banning long term solitary confinement of prisoners with serious mental illness, which was signed into law this morning by Governor Hickenlooper having received near unanimous approval from the state legislature. “The ACLU of Colorado commends Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado legislature for banning the cruel, costly, and unconstitutional practice of warehousing prisoners with serious.... | Read More
Colorado Legislature Bans Long-Term Solitary Confinement of Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness
April 28, 2014 DENVER - Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes on SB 64, a bill to ban long-term solitary confinement of prisoners with serious mental illness, which passed the Colorado House of Representatives this morning after receiving unanimous approval by the Senate earlier this month. “The ACLU of Colorado commends the state legislature for banning the cruel, costly, and unlawful practice of warehousing prisoners with serious mental illness in long-term.... | Read More
Prepared Remarks of Public Policy Director Denise Maes on SB14-64, Limiting the Use of Solitary Confinement for Mentally Ill Prisoners
The physical details of a person's daily experience in isolated confinement is worth examining. The cells are a bit bigger than a king sized bed and the offender spends 22 plus hours a day there. In this environment, you sleep, eat and defecate - one lives their entire daily life in that cell. In Colorado, the average length of time one remains in solitary confinement is approximately 14 months. All experts agree that long-term isolation should not extend beyond 30 days. 30 days versus 14.... | Read More
Senate passes ban on long-term solitary confinement of inmates with serious mental illness
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes "Today's unanimous passage of Senate Bill 64 is further evidence of a growing consensus among lawmakers, prison officials, and civil liberties advocates in Colorado that warehousing prisoners with mental illness in long-term solitary confinement is a cruel, costly, and unlawful practice that unnecessarily jeopardizes public safety. "The legislation, championed by Senator Jesse Ulibarri, solidifies and provides critical funding to.... | Read More
CDOC Takes Momentous Step Toward Providing Better Treatment to Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness
March 25, 2014 The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) has released a new policy on the treatment of prisoners with serious mental illness that will go into effect on April 1, 2014. The policy provides for increased out of cell time and individual therapeutic contacts for prisoners with serious mental illness and/or developmental disabilities housed in CDOC’s residential treatment programs (RTP). The policy adopts a broadened definition of “serious mental illness” and mandates.... | Read More
Prepared Remarks of ACLU Public Policy Director Denise Maes on SB 14-064, concerning solitary confinement of prisoners with serious mental illness
Bill to be considered March 10, 2014 by the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:30 pm MT In isolated confinement, the cells are a bit bigger than a king sized bed. A prisoner spends 22 hours a day in there. In this environment, you sleep, eat and defecate – you live your entire daily life in that cell. In Colorado, the average length of time one remains in solitary confinement is approximately 14 months. All experts agree that long term isolation should not extend beyond 30 days. So,.... | Read More
CDOC Takes Step Toward Getting Mentally Ill Prisoners Out of Solitary
December 12, 2013 In a memo provided to the ACLU of Colorado by the Colorado Department of Corrections, all wardens were instructed to no longer refer prisoners that have been designated to have a major mental illness to administrative segregation. Administrative segregation is long-term placement in solitary confinement, in which prisoners are denied all meaningful human contact and must remain alone in barren metal cells in excess of 23 hours per day. Statement of ACLU Staff Attorney Rebecca.... | Read More
CO Prisons Continue to Warehouse Mentally Ill in Solitary Confinement
July 23, 2013 New ACLU report examines legal, moral, and fiscal implications of housing mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement, urges CDOC chief Rick Raemisch to end the practice DENVER – The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) continues to rely on long-term solitary confinement to manage mentally ill prisoners, often for months or even years, according to a new report released today by the ACLU of Colorado. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado’s continued warehousing of.... | Read More
ACLU statement on appointment of new CDOC Director Rick Raemisch
June 14, 2013 Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on the Appointment of New Colorado Department of Corrections Director Rick Raemisch “The ACLU of Colorado is encouraged by Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment today of Rick Raemisch to head the Colorado Department of Corrections. The Governor’s announcement signals an intention to further former Director Tom Clements’ goals of ensuring greater safety for the public, protecting civil liberties,.... | Read More
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