Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • 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. 


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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