In The News
Civil Rights Clinic in the News
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Civil Rights Clinic, Decoteau v. Raemischj
On June 29, 2016, U.S. District Judge William Martinez approved a settlement agreement in Decoteau v. Raemisch. This class action lawsuit, litigated by student attorneys and professors with the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, as well as attorneys at the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), resulted in the provision of outdoor exercise for prisoners at Colorado State Penitentiary. For over twenty years, the close custody prisoners who occupy CSP – the vast majority of whom were held in conditions of solitary confinement – were only permitted to exercise in a cell similar to their living cell, with a narrow slit of a window that opened directly to the outdoors. As a result, these prisoners went months, years, or even decades without feeling the rain or sun. As a result of this case, which arose from an earlier individual lawsuit also litigated by the Civil Rights Clinic and CREEC (Anderson v. Colorado), the Colorado Department of Corrections will construct three outdoor exercise yards at CSP. The outcome in Decoteau has meaningfully contributed to the advancement of civil rights, because a group of students, their clinic professors, and a small civil rights nonprofit – along with the incarcerated men who served as named plaintiffs and constituted members of the class – took on the Colorado Department of Corrections, ultimately obtaining for some 500 prisoners the ability to exercise outdoors.
- Over the past few years, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law has received national recognition for its extensive experiential learning opportunities. Most recently, the law school and the Civil Rights Clinic were featured in National Jurist’s spring 2016 issue – Denver Law is the lead item in the cover story, and was ranked No. 9 in the nation for Best Schools for Practical Training.
- Westword, December 7, 2015 – Colorado Supermax Will Build Rec Yards to Settle Prisoners’ Lawsuit
- CNN, May 13, 2015— What awaits Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he’s sent to Supermax prison?
- The Denver Post, October 14, 2014— Director of ACLU racial justice program featured speaker at dinner
- Law Week Colorado, January 15, 2014— DU clinic files civil rights class action
- “Morning Magazine,” KGNU Radio Boulder, December 30, 2013— DU Civil Rights Clinic files class action lawsuit on behalf of solitary confinement prisoners denied outdoor exercise
- December 24, 2013 – Lawyers seek expansion of prison exercise lawsuit
- December 17, 2013 – Colorado prisoners file exercise lawsuit
- September 19, 2013 – Judge tells Colorado Department of Corrections that providing open-air exercise does not mean putting inmates in outdoor cages
- ACLU Report – Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado’s continued warehousing of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement
- May 8, 2013 – Anderson v. CDOC in the news
- October 8, 2012 – Prof. Laura Rovner: Ruling from European Court ignores solitary confinement realities in U.S.
- September 17, 2012 – CPR interview w/ lecturer Brittany Glidden re: changes to solitary confinement policies
- September 5, 2012 – Editorial: Colorado prisons’ solitary exercise policy cruel, unusual
- July 9, 2012 – Solitary Watch: Profs. Rovner & Theoharis co-author piece ‘Preferring Order to Justice’
- June 15, 2012 – Written Testimony of Professor Laura Rovner, Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Hearing on Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences
- Westword.com, May 7, 2012 – Troy Anderson lawsuit: Supermax conditions draw criticism from judge
- March 9, 2012 – “The Gray Box”: Upcoming New York Event on Solitary Confinement
- Mother Jones magazine features Civil Rights Clinic solitary confinement case
- DenverPost.com, November 26, 2011 – University of Denver clinic has students act as attorneys for prisoners
- October 6, 2011 – Federal Judge Rules 28 Years in Solitary Confinement Not “Extreme,” Dismisses Silverstein Case
- Solitary Watch, April 4, 2011 – Congressional Briefing on Solitary Confinement to Take Place This Week
- Denver Post – 1/2009 – Sturm College of Law Professor Laura Rovner and her Civil Rights Clinic are quoted in a Susan Greene column in the Denver Post about Supermax inmate Tommy Silverstein, who has been in solitary confinement for 20+ years, longer than the legendary Birdman of Alcatraz.