CREEC mourns the passing of Bruce Sattler

CREEC joins the ACLU of Colorado in mourning the passing of longtime civil liberties advocate Bruce Sattler.  Bruce was Tim and my first opposing counsel when we started Fox & Robertson in 1996.  He was smart, professional, and just a great guy to talk to.  He took the case seriously, litigated it well, worked with us to settle it, and otherwise set a very high bar for future OC!  Tim and I enjoyed even more getting to know him through the ACLU and seeing his dedication — and that of his late wife, Martha — to civil liberties issues in Colorado and around the country.  Losing both Bruce and Martha Sattler in one year is a big blow to the Colorado ACLU family.  We hope to do justice to their memories. Rest in peace, Bruce; we’ll miss you.  ...

Outdoor Exercise Settlement Article in Westword!

This morning, Westword’s Alan Prendergast published an article about the settlement that the University of Denver’s Civil Rights Clinic and CREEC reached with the Colorado Department of Corrections last week. The online article focuses on the history of Colorado State Penitentiary, and how, in light of this lawsuit, the Colorado Department of Corrections has committed to build outdoor recreation areas for high-security prisoners. Thank you to Westword for writing about our case and bringing more attention to the issue of prisoners’ rights! Read the entirety of Prendergast’s article here: Colorado Supermax Will Build Rec Yards to Settle Prisoners’...

Colorado Gives Day and CREEC

For the first time ever, CREEC is participating in Colorado Gives Day, an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving! Colorado Gives Day begins at 12:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 (perfect for all you late-night online shoppers). We ask that you please add CREEC to your list of organizations receiving a year-end donation. Over the past two years, CREEC has grown into an organization with six attorneys and offices in two states! We’ve expanded our Medical Communication Access Project, filing two lawsuits and successfully settling one of them. We’ve started a testing program to make sure businesses and organizations aren’t discriminating against people who use wheelchairs, are deaf or hard of hearing, are blind, or are transgender. We’ve pursued – and successfully settled! – cases with the Colorado Department of Corrections to fight for inmates’ rights to outdoor exercise. We’ve intervened on behalf of apartment residents and veterans facing discrimination for using service animals. For a more complete picture of what we’ve accomplished in 2015, feel free to scroll through the CREECblog or view our Cases page. We can continue with this important work – and expand into new areas of civil rights education and litigation – only with your help. Please consider a donation to CREEC on Colorado Gives Day this year. You can make your gift via paper check or by using our Colorado Gives...

Alan Chen Joins CREEC Board

We are very excited to welcome Prof. Alan Chen as a new member of CREEC’s board of directors.  Our newest board member is a distinguished professor of law and a nationally-recognized expert in constitutional law and civil rights litigation.  Alan has been an important member of our Litigation Committee for the past two years, and we are honored to add his legal expertise and wisdom to our Board. Alan is a lifetime advocate for civil rights. His research includes federal remedies for civil rights violations, free speech doctrine and theory, and lawyering for social change. He is a past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Civil Rights. In recent years, he has litigated several high-profile, pro bono civil rights cases in the federal courts, including two suits challenging so-called Ag Gag laws that criminalize efforts of activists and journalists to expose misconduct on factory farms, an excessive force case against law enforcement officers who used pepper spray to subdue peaceful environmental protesters, and a successful facial challenge to a Colorado law mandating that all students and teachers recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. Since joining the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty in 1992, Alan has received awards for teaching, contributions to the law review and pro bono legal work. Before entering teaching, Alan was a civil liberties litigator with the ACLU’s Chicago office, focusing primarily on cases concerning the First Amendment, police misconduct, and privacy rights. Before that, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marvin E. Aspen, U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Alan...

University of Denver Civil Rights Clinic and CREEC Reach Groundbreaking Settlement with Department of Corrections

Prisoners in restrictive housing and close custody at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP) have reached a settlement with Colorado prison officials that will provide outdoor exercise for those inmates for the first time since the prison’s construction in 1993. The class action lawsuit, Decoteau v. Raemisch, filed by student attorneys in the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and co-counsel from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, asserted that the denial of outdoor exercise to inmates at CSP constituted cruel and unusual punishment. This settlement is the culmination of years of litigation by the Civil Rights Clinic and CREEC, starting with Anderson v. Colorado, a lawsuit brought by inmate Troy Anderson in which a federal judge first ruled that the denial of outdoor exercise at CSP was unconstitutional. Student attorneys in the Civil Rights Clinic and attorneys at CREEC have represented the plaintiffs in this case and in Anderson over the past seven years. As a result of this settlement and the Anderson lawsuit, the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) will build three outdoor exercise yards at CSP, and inmates housed at the prison will be permitted to use them. CDOC is moving its highest security level inmates from CSP to Sterling Correctional Facility, where they will also be permitted to exercise outdoors for the first time. A federal judge in Colorado has granted preliminary approval for the settlement, and the parties anticipate final approval in mid-2016. For more information about the case and the settlement, please contact: Lindsey Web (Denver Law) – 303-871-6586 – lwebb@law.du.edu Amy Robertson (CREEC) – 303-757-7901...