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  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: acluco.org/redemption. Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado

  • 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.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

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 the following:

  1. Prisoners diagnosed with a “serious mental illness” are to be considered for placement in an RTP within 30 days of diagnosis.
  2. All RTP prisoners are to receive twenty hours of out-of-cell time every week, including ten hours of dedicated therapeutic activity.
  3. Many RTP prisoners are required to receive frequent one-on-one mental health contacts with a consistent mental health provider.

Statement of ACLU Staff Attorney Rebecca Wallace

“The ACLU of Colorado commends Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch and his staff who have shown remarkable leadership on this issue.

“Adoption of this policy is a momentous step toward ensuring that prisoners with a serious mental illness are not held in solitary confinement and will receive meaningful out-of-cell mental health treatment.”

Read the new policy here:
http://www.doc.state.co.us/sites/default/files/ar/0650_04_040114.pdf



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