Just in time for new arrivals from the tropical island of Cuba, the Colorado State Penitentiary will build an outdoor recreation area at a cost of nearly $5 million to taxpayers because a federal judge ruled that sunshine is a constitutional right.
We jest you not.
And what judge would rule such a thing? Why that would be our old friend Brooke Jackson, the same U.S. District Court judge who brought us the Colowyo dilemma.
The case was originally brought by inmate Troy Anderson, who was convicted of numerous crimes, including a shoot-out with police.
Calling Colorado corrections policies “out of step with the rest of the nation” — even the notorious federal supermax in Florence allows its inmates outdoor recreation in individual cages — Jackson declared that prison officials must provide Anderson with “meaningful exposure” to natural light and air.
The state pen is designed for the most dangerous and violent of criminals, but even they deserve to see the sun every now and again.
But it’s not just a secure outdoor sunroom
Gitmo detainees prisoners will be getting, apparently they also have a constitutional right to basketball courts, exercise pads, and walking tracks.
Topping it off, literally, the recreation yard will also have “benches with sun cover.”
We suppose that too much of that constitutional sunshine can be harmful. But seriously, a bottle of sunscreen seems more reasonable.