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Report Shows Denver Sheriff Department is Badly Broken and in Need of Deep, Substantial Reform

May 21, 2015

DENVER Earlier today, an independent assessment team, which had been hired by the City of Denver to review the culture and practices of the Denver Sheriff Department following a string of multi-million dollar settlements and judgments for excessive force, released a comprehensive report with 277 recommendations for reform of the Department.

The ACLU of Colorado issued the following statement:

“Today’s report from the independent assessment team confirmed that the Denver Sheriff Department is badly broken and in need of deep and substantial reform.  The report found ‘problems at almost every level’ of the department, including a near complete lack of accountability for use-of-force incidents against prisoners.  It is clear from the report’s findings that a pervasive culture has taken hold at the Denver jail, in which guards and officers believe that they have wide license to violate the rights of prisoners, because there is hardly any oversight or discipline for their actions.

“The public cannot trust a broken department that lacks accountability, especially when taxpayers are repeatedly forced to pay the bill for multi-million dollar settlements and judgments.  We call on Mayor Hancock and Denver city officials to transform the culture at the Denver Sheriff Department from top to bottom and to give the department the complete overhaul that it clearly needs.”



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