Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.
In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.
Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”
Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.
- Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.
Category Archives: Student and Youth Rights
Colorado Legislators Sign Joint Letter Opposing Amendment 76
32 State Lawmakers Condemn 76 as an Anti-immigrant “Voter Suppression” Effort, Urge no Vote DENVER – In a letter released Monday, 32 Democratic state lawmakers called on Coloradans to vote no on Amendment 76, condemning the measure as a “cynical, misguided initiative.” Legislators – including the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, and several other high-ranking officials – decried the amendment as a “direct attack on Colorado's youngest voters and our immigrant community,”.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Launches 2020 Voter Guide Focused on Civil Liberties at Stake
DENVER – With less than 30 days until the most consequential election in American history, ACLU of Colorado launched its 2020 Voter Guide today to help people better understand the candidates’ positions on critical civil liberties issues and what ballot initiatives to look out for including: Amendment 76 regarding citizenship qualification of electors, Proposition 113 for the national popular vote, Proposition 115 concerning the ban on abortion later in pregnancy and Proposition 118 for paid.... | Read More
The Price for Free Speech: Teetering between Hong Kong and America
June 2020 marks the first anniversary of the beginning of the Hong Kong protest. In the past year, students in Hong Kong joined hands with suited professionals, stay-home moms, and seniors to resist against the city’s fading freedom under the iron fist of an authoritarian regime. While being physically away from home and enduring the pain of not being with my people, my heart has never left Hong Kong. Studying in the U.S. and now interning at the ACLU of Colorado have been precious opportunities.... | Read More
ACLU Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold DACA
June 18, 2020 WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and jeopardize the lives of 700,000 DACA recipients. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has fought the Trump administration’s termination of DACA since it was first announced and filed an amicus brief in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. In a separate case, the ACLU.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado is Calling for the Release of Incarcerated Youth to Prevent a Public Health Crisis
March 19, 2020 DENVER — Today a coalition of organizations sent a letter to Colorado juvenile justice officials outlining immediate actions to take to protect incarcerated children. As these youth are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking system actors to respond swiftly to recommendations put forth by public health experts — specifically calling for the immediate release of youth identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as vulnerable, as.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Mourns the Loss of Long-time Leader and Advocate Judd Golden
ACLU of Colorado is deeply saddened by the death of Judd Golden, 70, on January 28, 2020. Judd was killed in a head-on collision on I-25 north of Pueblo when another car crossed the median. A long-time ACLU leader and volunteer, Judd was head of the Boulder Chapter of the ACLU for 20 years and a member of the chapter beginning in 1985. He was a volunteer cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Iowa starting in 1974, and moved to Colorado in 1984 as the Mountain States Counsel, a national ACLU staff.... | Read More
Victories Under The Dome
We had an ambitious legislative agenda entering into the 2019 session and are happy to announce a series of successes. First, we championed legislation that will fund for the first time in our state's history, comprehensive sex education for schools seeking to adopt such a curriculum. We were able to champion legislation that will bring some relief to our immigrant friends and neighbors and advanced legislation that will reform aspects of our cruel bail system. You made this happen and we thank you.... | 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
DYC’s Punitive Culture is Hurting Colorado Kids, and Making Kids and Staff Unsafe
Coalition calls for a new approach based on highly-successful Missouri model Denver, CO (3/2/17) – Violence in Colorado’s Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) facilities has risen dramatically in recent years, and the common use of punitive measures, including pain compliance, knee strikes, solitary confinement, and a full-body straitjacket called the WRAP have created a culture of violence that is failing Colorado’s troubled youth, according to a new report released today by the Colorado.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Opposes Revived Douglas County School Voucher Program
3/15/16 DENVER – Tonight, the Douglas County School District will consider a second school voucher program that would divert public taxpayer dollars to secular, private schools inside and outside of the district. Last June, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the district’s original voucher program was unconstitutional because it diverted public money to private, religious schools. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado opposes the redirection of taxpayer money to private.... | Read More
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