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.


Colorado ACLU Echoes for Stop to Attorney General's Assault on Civil Liberties


Feb 12, 2003


In a recent announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union warned against the likely ineffectiveness of and danger to average Americans posed by the vast cyber-surveillance system known as Total Information Awareness (TIA).


"The Pentagon's plan for the most extensive data surveillance network in history will have real effects on real Americans," Katie Corrigan, ACLU Legislative Counsel told a nationwide teleconference with reporters and editors. "It will place millions of innocent Americans under government scrutiny in an epidemic of privacy invasion."


Representatives of a broad, right- and left-leaning coalition, which includes the ACLU, Americans for Tax Reform, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Eagle Forum, and other organizations, were on hand to answer questions.


Much of the briefing focused on the practical dangers inherent in TIA for average Americans and how the system will erode the ability of communities across the country to maintain control over their personal information.


Coloradans are keenly aware of the dangers to the integrity of their personal information by the recent disclosure that the Denver Police Department kept intelligence files on individuals who exercised their First Amendment rights by participating in peaceful protests. Some of these people were labeled as "criminal extremists" by members of the Police Department who assigned them to arbitrary categories in the Police database.


The ACLU of Colorado Foundation released a document on January 22, 2003, from the Denver Police Spy Files showing that the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations collected information on individuals at a peaceful demonstration at Peterson Air Force Base in 1999 and shared it with the Denver Police Department. An ongoing class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Colorado challenges the Police Department's Spy Files and the practice of monitoring peaceful protesters and keeping files on the expressive activities of peaceful critics of government policies.


Total Information Awareness developers, led by former Reagan National Security Adviser and convicted felon John Poindexter, intends to create the infrastructure to allow the government to use "data-mining" technology to track and monitor, among many other things, innocent Americans' financial, health, travel and credit card records. The program has been billed as an anti-terrorism tool; however, many technical experts question its viability, and civil liberties and privacy advocates oppose the system for its potential disastrous effects on core freedoms.


Click here for additional background about the Spy Files controversy

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