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.

ACLU Discussion: The New Jim Crow (Denver)

Join us in our Denver office for a discussion of the groundbreaking book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

The New Jim Crow book discussion
Wednesday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m.
ACLU of Colorado Office
303 E. 17th Ave., Denver

Rev. Roger Butts and John Riley will lead the discussion of the racial and social issues raised in the book. For example, there are more African-American men under correctional control today – in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in the year 1850.

John Riley is the Coalition Coordinator at the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and a retired Juvenile Correctional Administrator with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.

Roger Butts is an Organizer with Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister.

This event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP.

Snacks and beverages will be served.

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