Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Emily Rice Moaned And Cried For 20 Hours

Documents have been disclosed to the press that illustrate what happened to Emily Rice for the 20 hours before she died in the Denver Jail.

DENVER - Emily Rice moaned and cried during her 20 hours inside a cell at the Denver City Jail, according to documents obtained by 9NEWS Wednesday.

It was enough to alarm the other women inmates there, but, for some reason, her complaints never caused the staff at the jail to send her back to doctors at Denver Health Medical Center.

By the time staff at the jail realized something was seriously wrong with the 24-year-old woman it was too late.

On Wednesday, 9NEWS received dozens of pages of previously undisclosed documents related to the death investigation of Rice. The documents, among other things, detail the interviews inmates gave to Denver police investigators in the days that followed the 2006 death.

Rice was involved in an accident on East Hampden Avenue on February 18, 2006. A blood-alcohol test, according to police, revealed she was legally drunk at the time of the car crash.

She was taken to Denver Health Medical Center and, according to the attorney now representing Rice's family, was seen by at least one physician and given some over-the-counter pain medication.

Because of outstanding warrants, she was then sent to the Denver City Jail. What no one knew at the time was that she had serious liver and spleen damage.

One inmate told investigators, "The woman moaned for most of the night."

Another observed, "(I) asked if (Emily) was alright and (she) said that she couldn't move her legs."

Another inmate said, "The nurse then talked to (Emily) and told her that since she had checked out of the hospital she was obviously fine."

As the moaning continued, other inmates say they begged the guards and staff to pay more attention to Emily.

One said, "Some of the inmates were crying and shouting, 'How can you let her die?' and "You're killing somebody's baby."

A civil suit has now been filed in the case by Rice's family against the City of Denver and staff at the Denver Health Medical Center and the city jail.

9 News

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