Posted inNews, Politics and Government

Lawmakers looking for oversight of Colorado jails cut back bill after outcry from sheriffs

Colorado lawmakers have backed off a measure to introduce new health, safety and operational standards in state jails, instead opting to pursue a study after pushback from sheriffs and counties.  It follows the passage of a law last year, heavily opposed by sheriffs, to limit the use of solitary confinement in the state’s largest jails.  […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Equity, Health, Housing, News, Politics and Government

Nearly half of all people released from prison in Colorado return in 3 years. A $1.1 million program aims to reverse the trend.

The No. 1 concern state leaders are hearing from business owners is that it’s hard to find employees to fill their current job openings. And for that reason, the timing for a new initiative to encourage businesses to employ formerly incarcerated people in Colorado couldn’t come at a better time, Gov. Jared Polis said on […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado governor signs wave of criminal justice bills into law, including ketamine measure spurred by Elijah McClain’s death

Gov. Jared Polis indefinitely prohibited the use of ketamine outside of hospital settings for people experiencing “excited delirium” as he signed into law a bill limiting when the powerful sedative can be used in situations involving law enforcement.  House Bill 1251 was inspired by the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died […]

Posted inCOVID, Crime and Courts, Health, News

$95,000 deal reached to settle El Paso County jail coronavirus lawsuit

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado county agreed on Tuesday to pay $65,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that alleged that mismanagement by the sheriff led to a COVID-19 outbreak in the jail last year. The payment approved by El Paso County commissioners will cover attorneys’ fees paid by the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: A notable example of how our justice system suffers from underfunding. And it’s victims who suffer the most.

The country watched with bated breath the entirety of last month’s trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, which provided a much-needed spotlight on the functioning of the criminal justice system in this country.  Every agonizing aspect of a criminal trial was on full display for the world to watch. […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado courts could soon be forced to hold bond hearings within 48 hours of someone’s arrest

Arrested on a Friday? For some Coloradans, that may mean waiting in jail until Monday or a Tuesday for a bond hearing when courts are back open. Now, Democratic state lawmakers want to make it easier for people in jail to have their bail set and avoid getting stuck in lock-up longer than necessary.   House […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

A rite of initiation provides a violent — but welcome — admission to an eternal bond

Erika T. Wurth’s publications include two novels, “Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend” and “You Who Enter Here,” two collections of poetry and a collection of short stories, “Buckskin Cocaine.” A writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News

Court sides with Colorado’s federal supermax prison in censorship case brought by magazine

A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that officials at a supermax prison in Colorado sufficiently changed their policies and corrected their mistakes after refusing to distribute a magazine that provides legal information to inmates. The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an argument by the magazine’s […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News

Boulder man searched for Colorado synagogues and mosques, said he “wanted the white race to win,” search warrant says

A 29-year-old Boulder man investigated by federal authorities after making startling online posts was searching for mosque and synagogue locations in the Denver metro area and elsewhere in Colorado just days before he was arrested on unrelated charges of possessing hundreds of child-porn images.  New details into Wesley Gilreath’s alleged activities were unveiled on Thursday […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

A slain deputy. A political brawl. A school shooting: How Sheriff Tony Spurlock is handling years of turmoil

CASTLE ROCK — Sheriff Tony Spurlock is digging into a plate of enchiladas, trying to make sense of the wave of tragedies that rolled through his office in the past three years, when a worker at a Mexican restaurant recognizes him.  “I don’t see you that much,” the man says, “except bad news on the […]