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.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Adams VS. CCA

Good news today. The Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling that the inmates had to exhaust administrative remedies before bringing suit, making new law in Colorado in a lengthy well-reasoned opinion which addressed every argument made by CCA and rejected every argument. The opinion can be found on the internet under “Colorado Court of Appeals”, decisions rendered on May 29, ----Adams et al v. CCA.

07CA0681

Plaintiffs, Vance A. Adams and eighty-four other individuals, were incarcerated in the Crowley County Correctional Facility (CCCF), a private prison housing inmates pursuant to a contract with the Colorado Department of Corrections, at the time of a July 2004 riot at CCCF. They brought this action against defendants, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which owns CCCF, and several CCA employees, alleging that they were not involved in the 2004 riot but nevertheless sustained injuries as a result of defendants’ acts and omissions before, during, and after the riot. Plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages on theories of negligence, assault and battery, outrageous conduct, and civil conspiracy. The trial court dismissed the complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies pursuant to section 13-17.5-102.3(1), C.R.S. 2007, and additionally dismissed the claim for punitive damages as premature. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.
I.
Plaintiffs contend the trial court erred in dismissing their complaint because section 13-17.5-102.3(1) does not require
1
exhaustion of remedies where only common law tort claims are asserted. We agree.