“The grate outdoors”

The Colorado Independent published an article today on our Anderson case.   It covers the hearing in the case on September 4, 2013, in which — among other things — Judge Brooke Jackson held that the exercise areas at Sterling Correction Facility do not provide outdoor exercise for purposes of the 8th Amendment.

Concrete enclosure approximately 6 and a half feet wide and 20 feet high. Concrete extends to eight feet high on all sides of the end of the enclosure, with mesh over the sides and top. A man stands in the middle, his back to the camera, with his hands extended out to each side. He can almost touch each side of the enclosure. The only other thing in the enclosure is a chin-up bar mounted on the concrete wall on the left just behind the standing man.

Exercise Area at Sterling Correctional Facility

The judge had previously held that the exercise areas at the Colorado State Penitentiary did not provide required outdoor exercise and ordered the DOC to ensure that

Troy Anderson has access for at least one hour, at least three times per week, to outdoor exercise in an area that is fully outside and that includes overhead access to the elements, e.g., to sunlight, rain, snow and wind.

A cinderblock room with walls that narrow toward the far end from approximately 8 feet wide near the photographer to approximately 3 feet wide at the far end.  At the end, there are two long narrow windows extending from about one foot off the floor to about 6 inches from the ceiling.  The room is empty except for a flourescent light on the ceiling and a chin-up bar on the right wall.

Exercise Area at Colorado State Penitentiary

In response, rather than providing required outdoor exercise at CSP, the Department simply moved Mr. Anderson to Sterling.   The September 4 ruling indicates that that solution was inadequate.   Ultimately, the judge ordered the parties to talk and we are looking forward to working with the Department to ensure that Mr. Anderson gets both adequate outdoor exercise and adequate mental health treatment.