Garcia v. Board of County Commissioners, El Paso County

Criminal Justice
Case No. No. 83-Z-222, United States District Court, District of Colorado
ACLU Case No. 2003-06


After Vincent Garcia committed suicide in the El Paso County Jail in 1983, his family filed a wrongful death and civil rights action against the sheriff and the Board of County Commissioners. When the case was resolved in 1985, Judge Zita Weinshienk entered a consent judgment that requires the El Paso County Sheriff to adopt certain measures designed to reduce the risk of similar suicides in the future. The measures include improvement of certain physical facilities, additional training of deputies, improved intake and screening procedures, and creation of a separate ward for prisoners with serious mental health needs.

In early 2003, the County filed a motion seeking to terminate the consent judgment. Citing a series of recent successful suicides in the jail and other problems in the jail's treatment of persons with serious mental health needs, the ACLU then entered the case on behalf of Mr. Garcia's family to oppose the County's request. After a hearing, the district court granted the County's motion.


David Fathi , ACLU National Prison Project
Donna Dell’Olio
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Tom Nichols

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