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  • 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.

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on Downtown Denver Homeless Sweeps

3/8/16

“The ACLU of Colorado is deeply concerned by the City of Denver’s approach to the visible presence of people who are homeless downtown, including today’s sweep and seizure of personal possessions in the areas directly adjacent to the Rescue Mission, St. Francis Center, and Samaritan House.

“Since the last sweep of the same area on a frigid, snowy December night last year, the number of people trying to exist and survive without housing in Denver has continued to grow.  Denver residents are understandably discomforted and frustrated by the sight of so many poor and vulnerable people living in extreme poverty.  The answer to that discomfort and frustration cannot be increased criminalization and draconian sweeps that push away and attempt to hide impoverished people out of sight.  Criminalization and displacement are short-term approaches that exacerbate rather than solve root causes of poverty and homelessness.

“People who are homeless deserve the right to rest, the right to move freely in public spaces, and the fundamental right to be secure in their personal belongings, especially when those belongings are all that they have in the world.”

Resources:

Read Nathan Woodliff-Stanley’s testimony in support of the Right to Rest Act:

https://aclu-co.org/prepared-testimony-of-aclu-of-colorado-executive-director-nathan-woodliff-stanley-on-the-right-to-rest-act-2/

Read Colorado Communities are Making it a Crime to be Homeless: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-woodliffstanley-/colorado-communities-are_b_6234038.html

Visit the ACLU of Colorado Criminalization of Homelessness Campaign Page:

https://aclu-co.org/campaigns/criminalization-homelessness/



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