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A travesty of justice

Dear Editor:

The longest-held prisoner in the Pitkin County Jail with zero bond required. Jailed for trespass. I would like to request your attention to the following case:

You may have heard my name. I am author of 12 books, including “An American GULAG: Secret P.O.W. Camps for Teens.” I am writing this letter regarding the curious case of Jan Hamilton, a two-year resident of the Pitkin County Jail.

Jan Barton Hamilton (age 71) is a lesbian, cancer survivor, divorced, currently entering her second year of incarceration at the Pitkin County Jail in Aspen. Her crime? Trespass on the nearby Baptist church property. The charge of “menacing” is also listed. She is not considered a threat and her bond is set at zero. The issue: Church officials disapproved of her lifestyle and relationship with one of their members.

She was placed in jail, with no bond requested, for trespass on Baptist church property on May 4, 2011, and is still in prison!

Techniques used to keep her imprisoned are the familiar delay, and postpone tactics used by many of the GULAG schools I wrote about in my book. Lacking funds, she has been attempting to defend herself. She comes from a family in Texas, has two adult children, and had divorced her husband before this event occurred. They objected to her lifestyle and have refused to help.

This case came to my attention a few days ago via a short two-minute phone call. She was then sent to lock-down. I knew Jan Hamilton years ago, and respected her passion and work in the field of nutrition.

In her 40s, she studied with top nutritional doctors in Houston and received a degree/certificate in that field of work. I have sent the original of this email to award-winning “Attorney of the Year,” Shannon Minter in San Francisco. She is well known for her work at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). It would be a fitting conclusion to this sad event, if the Baptist church were required to pay for her treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and support, for life.

Alexia Parks

Boulder


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