Public Safety in Arapahoe County means many things. But an important part of public safety is the Arapahoe County Detention Center. Did you know the Arapahoe County jail serves every community in the County? While some cities and towns in the County have holding facilities, they don’t have their own jails. They rely on the Arapahoe County Jail.
The jail was not built to handle this number of inmates and the facilities do not allow proper management of these inmates, particularly those in mental or behavioral health crisis
Built more than 30 years ago, the overall infrastructure of the jail is failing. Sewage, plumbing and electrical systems are stressed. The systems are old and were never designed for the number of inmates housed there today.
The Booking and Release center in the jail is inadequate. After an arrest, all police departments in the County bring their prisoners to the Arapahoe County Jail Booking and Release center.
The result? Long processing delays for police officers taking them off the streets. Increased risks for staff. Inadequate holding space to separate men and women, those impaired by alcohol and drugs, as well as inmates with mental and behavioral problems.
About 40 percent of the jail population at any given point is experiencing a behavioral health issue. That’s more inmates than the entire population the facility was originally built to house.
And Arapahoe County’s analysis shows that the county courthouse has many of the same issues as the jail. Current facilities are overcrowded and aging. There is no room for adding needed additional courtrooms and safety issues around keeping offenders, witnesses, jurors and court workers separate are real.
The solution is a multi-step effort that will make sure Arapahoe County spends taxpayer resources wisely by keeping offenders who need to be in jail safely in jail, diverting those who can be monitored outside a facility and engaging all offenders to avoid repeat offenses. Areas of future focus will include additional modern court facilities that can be operated more safely and provide greater access to civil and criminal courts.