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  • 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: acluco.org/redemption. 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 https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado

  • 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. 

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4.8.20

ACLU and Denver Civil Rights Attorneys File Class Action Lawsuit in Federal Court Against Weld County Sheriff

The Lawsuit Seeks an Emergency Order to Protect High-risk People in Jail From COVID-19 April 8, 2020, DENVER – A team of ACLU and civil rights attorneys filed a class action lawsuit last night in federal court, seeking an emergency order to compel Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines – including physical distancing – for all high-risk people being held in the Weld County Jail. “We have written to Sheriff Reams; we have written to the Chief.... | Read More

4.3.20

Coalition Files Lawsuit Urging State Supreme Court to Protect Jails and Public from COVID-19

April 3, 2020 DENVER – The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel filed two emergency petitions today asking the Colorado Supreme Court to take immediate action to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado jails by issuing a directive that lower courts are to do their part to safely reduce the number of people who are incarcerated during this crisis. The petitions ask the Court to immediately issue guidance to safely.... | Read More

4.1.20

Join our At-Home Census Outreach Team!

Visit our Census 2020 homepage. [gravityform id="15" title="true" description="true"] Help us encourage Coloradans in Hard to Count communities (HTC) across the state to participate in the 2020 Census. In the past, Hard to Count communities such as those experiencing homelessness, immigrant communities, people of color, and LGBTQ+ folks have been severely undercounted resulting in a disproportionate distribution of federal funding that goes towards programs such as health.... | Read More

3.31.20

Goodbye From Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

On my last day at the ACLU of Colorado, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to have led this essential, impactful organization for the last 7 ½ years. I had no idea I would be leaving in the middle of a pandemic, but even this crisis illustrates the critical work of the ACLU, where we have sought to reduce immediately the crowding of people in jails, prisons, and detention centers, protecting people’s rights along with public health simultaneously. As the current crisis evolves,.... | Read More

3.26.20

The Redemption Campaign in Action

The Redemption Campaign is a statewide effort to liberate 1,000s of people from Colorado prisons over the next 5 years by challenging Governor Polis to use existing clemency powers in new and transformational ways. Our mission is to replace the architecture of mass incarceration with a roadmap to redemption. See the redemption campaign in action below as we work to bring people safely home from prison. Learn More about the Redemption Campaign Urge Governor Polis to Safely Release People From.... | Read More

3.26.20

A Matter of Public Health: ACLU Urges Colorado Sheriffs to Reduce Jail Population During COVID-19 Crisis

March 26, 2020 DENVER – ACLU of Colorado called on all Colorado sheriffs to collectively help stop the spread of COVID-19 by safely and swiftly reducing the jail population. In a letter that went out to sheriffs in 52 counties throughout the state, ACLU of Colorado cited the medical necessity of drastically reducing community spread in county jails as a matter of public health and constitutional duty.  “This epidemic has the potential to become the Coming Prison Plague,” Dr. Franco-Paredes,.... | Read More