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.


Ex-prisoner Settles Sexual Assault Suit Against Nation's Largest Private Extradition Company


April 23, 2002

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) announced today a settlement of a three-year-old lawsuit filed against TransCor America, the nation's largest private extradition company, on behalf of a female prisoner who was sexually assaulted by a TransCor guard in March, 1998, during a drive from Texas to Colorado.


"We are pleased that TransCor has agreed to settle this case by paying our client a substantial sum," said Janet Savage of Davis Graham & Stubbs, who litigated the case as an ACLU cooperating attorney.


"No women should ever have to endure what our client went through," added Cynthia Kok, who served as co-counsel for the ACLU. "And no amount of money can make up for it. But in this case it has been truly gratifying to work with a client who mustered up the courage to fight back, to hang in there through years of litigation, and now has something significant to show for it."


The lawsuit alleged that TransCor assigned an all-male crew for the extradition despite similar incidents, similar lawsuits, and a company policy that required the presence of at least one female guard.


At the time the lawsuit was filed, the ACLU's client was 43 years old, had been married to her husband for 19 years, and had four children. In 1997, after living for twenty years in Colorado and fifteen years in Fremont County, the couple moved to Texas. The following year, the ACLU's client was arrested on an old warrant on a minor charge from Fremont County — the only time she has ever been in trouble with the law. She voluntarily waived extradition, and Fremont County hired TransCor to transport her. The sexual assault, along with threats of retaliation if she reported the abuse, occurred during the five-day trip to Colorado.


After the ACLU's client arrived in Colorado, the staff at the Fremont County Jail recognized her obviously distraught condition and sought help for her. A therapist determined that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a common consequence of such sexual assaults.


During the van's round-about trip to Colorado, the ACLU's client spent the days shackled in the van and spent the nights in county jails along the route. The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff was not able to use the toilet at rest stops during the day because the male guards insisted on watching. One day the plaintiff was forced to wait over thirteen hours until they stopped for the night at a county jail.


Earlier this month, the ACLU filed a similar lawsuit against a different extradition company, Extraditions International, on behalf of a woman who alleges that a guard sexually assaulted her during an extradition in May, 2001.

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