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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.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Adams County jail plan draws uncertainty from local law enforcement - The Denver Post

Adams County jail plan draws uncertainty from local law enforcement - The Denver Post

A plan to cap the number of municipal prisoners housed in the Adams County Jail is causing nervousness among law enforcement in the targeted cities.

"It's going to be a challenge, and I can't tell you how it's going to wash out," said Thornton Police Chief Jim Nursey.

Under the bed-restriction plan, Adams County cities would get beds based on their population. Thornton would get eight beds and Westminster would get five.

Federal Heights would get only one, which doesn't sit well with city officials. Federal Heights — with a population of more than 11,000 — also patrols Water World, which can attract 8,000 people.

Police also see more than 344,000 vehicles a day traveling through Federal Heights' city limits. That boosts the city's crime rate and prompts worries that the new jail policy will put the wrong person back on its streets, said Federal Heights Police Chief Les Acker.

"The sheriff wants to release nonviolent prisoners, which is fine, but just what kind of history does that person have?" Acker said. "You can't predict the future."

However, for nearly two years, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr — who by law does not have to house municipal prisoners — has said a housing crunch was coming, thanks to rugged economics and concerns that a smaller staff couldn't properly oversee the jail.

The Adams County Sheriff's Office budget was sliced by 5 percent in 2010 and another 3 percent this year.

Next year, a 3 percent cut is coming. That, coupled with a two-year hiring freeze, prompted the county to start closing housing units within the detention facility in Brighton.

Darr began working with municipal judges, prosecutors and police chiefs to find alternative housing for those municipal inmates who do not pose a threat to the community, said sheriff's spokesman Terrance O'Neill.

Officials on Friday said the bed-space restriction plan kicks in Aug. 15.

"The issue isn't necessarily jail capacity, but not having the personnel to safely administer that facility at this time," O'Neill said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a political ploy to get more money for his kingdom. Funny, this story breaks and that Sheriff takes a 2 week vacation? He must really committed to working to finding a solution to this problem? There are plenty of beds in surrounding counties. We need to focus on Health and Education, not prisons.mpc