April 15, 2019

Denver, CO – Today, the Colorado State Senate voted unanimously 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) that will make it a crime to unlawfully abandon or unlawfully confine an at-risk person. It now heads to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

“Too many seniors and people with disabilities are victims of these heinous abuses,” said Senator Danielson. “I am proud of our bill to give law enforcement the tools to protect our most vulnerable Coloradans from exploitation and victimization.”

“At-risk citizens, many who have serious health problems, need to be treated with dignity and provided an extra level of protection from harm,” said Senator Ginal. “This bill will ensure law enforcement officers have the training they need to identify the signs and take action against the inhumane crimes of abandonment and confinement.”

Currently, law enforcement cannot prosecute the types of abuse that the bill covers – abandonment and confinement – because they are not yet defined as crimes. This 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 this bill please visit: http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-172.