April 3, 2019

Denver, CO — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee today voted 5-0 to pass SB19-172, Protect from Unlawful Abandonment and Confinement, a bill sponsored by Senator Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) and Senator Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) to protect at-risk adults from abuse and neglect. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“It is heartbreaking to see some of the most vulnerable Coloradans suffering, and this measure  will protect seniors and people with disabilities from some really horrific treatment,” said Senator Danielson. “This legislation will give law enforcement the tools to crack down on abuse and neglect.”

“Abandonment and confinement are inhumane and no one, especially not seniors and people with disabilities, should ever be subject to either of these crimes,” said Senator Ginal. “Every person should be treated with dignity, and we need to ensure that law enforcement are aware of the signs and have the means to take action against these heinous crimes.”

Currently, law enforcement cannot prosecute the types of abuse that the bill covers – abandonment and confinement – because they are not yet defined as crimes. The act properly defines these crimes in order to protect senior citizens, disabled adults, and other at-risk Coloradans from abuse.

The bill defines unlawful abandonment as purposeful desertion of an at-risk person. Unlawful confinement is defined as tying, locking up, caging, chaining, or otherwise unreasonably restricting an at-risk person’s movement.

For more information on SB19-172, please visithttps://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-172.