Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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. 

  • 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.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • 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.

CLF and ACLU: DSD Reform Expert Loses Community Credibility By Supporting Torture

December 12, 2014

DENVER, CO – Jim Davis, former head of the FBI’s Denver office, who was recruited by Mayor Michael Hancock to lead the reform effort for the Denver Sheriff Department has come out in support of the “extreme interrogation techniques” used by the CIA, even though a new Senate Intelligence Committee report has found that “torture doesn’t work and shouldn’t be employed by our country.”

Davis was hired after the city agreed to pay $3.25 million to former inmate Jamal Hunter who was tortured by inmates as his genitals were burned over several hours apparently facilitated and encouraged by a DSD deputy who ignored his screams.  Hunter was also later choked by a deputy, pinned down by several other officers and then shocked twice with a Taser stun gun as a result of seeking medical attention for his torture injuries.

Davis was issued $80,000 for a five-month contract  that runs through Dec. 31 funded by taxpayer dollars. The CLF and the ACLU of Colorado find it disturbingly contradictory that a person who supports the torture of human beings is leading the charge to curtail inmate abuse.

“While positive steps have recently been taken, comments by Mayoral representatives that condone torture sets the City back in its efforts to promote community healing and transform a culture of violence that is still pervasive in Denver’s public safety departments,” said Rudy Gonzales, Co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum, Denver Chapter.

On December 3rd CLF Denver Chapter Issued a Declaration of Human Rights for Denver Public Safety Department Reform urging the Mayor and City leaders to admit systemic failures and rebuild community trust. CLF also encouraged public officials to join the national dialogue to explore ways to build trust and confidence between police and minority communities nationwide and recommend ways the government can support accountability, transparency and trust in law enforcement.

“Representatives of the City of Denver need to send a consistent message about the fair, dignified and humane treatment of all detained persons,” said ACLU Public Policy Director Denise Maes

On January 10th CLF will convene the 6th Annual Colorado Latino Forum Public Policy Summit at the Tivoli hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver. As a follow-up to the CLF Denver Chapter’s 21-page public safety report members will also address criminal justice and prosecutorial reform.

To register please visit To receive information, submit names of subject matter experts, become a sponsor or set up an information table, please email with your request.

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