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Pueblo County jail release inmates to combat COVID-19

jail release inmates

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- To combat the COVID-19 outbreak, the Pueblo County Jail has released more than a hundred inmates.

According to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, inmates are being released on personal recognizance bonds. In the span of two weeks, the Pueblo County Jail's inmate population dropped from 646 to 511.

The Sheriff's Office along with the Pueblo County District Attorney's office, the courts, and public defenders office worked together to release certain inmates on bond.

This was done in order to comply with social distancing guidelines in the jails set by Gov. Jared Polis and the County Sheriffs of Colorado during the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Polis' guidelines, only ten inmates are allowed to be within an indoor or outdoor space at a time.

Statistically, the Pueblo County Jail is the most overcrowded jail in the state of Colorado. The jail's capacity is 509, and the jail's average daily population is 742. Twice in 2018, the jail had more than 800 inmates in the jail.

"Any time we can decrease the population back to either capacity or under capacity opens up more areas within the jail so we can do these positive proactive things with our inmates," said Sheriff Kirk Taylor at a press conference Wednesday.

In a statement to KRDO, the Pueblo County District Attorney Jeff Chostner says the inmates being released are non-violent offenders.

"Public Defender's Office, the Chief Judge, probation and our office worked out a plan to let low-level offenders, with a short duration left on their sentence [30 days or less] to be released so as to decrease the possibility of exposure and infection of [COVID-19] within the jail," said Chostner. "This does not include prisoners who have been convicted of a crime of violence or a sexual offense."

Chostner and his office have also agreed to not release individuals whose victims qualify for the Victims Rights Act.

"We have to look at public safety as well. We don't want to release people just to release people," said Sheriff Taylor. "It took a lot of people to get together to make decisions on what kind of outside supervision was going to be appropriate so that we can continue to keep the safety of this community."

As for the jail, temperatures are recorded before anyone enters the jail, and the jail is being disinfected consistently.

So far, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 within the Pueblo County Jail.

Coronavirus / Pueblo

Dan Beedie

Dan is a bureau reporter based out of Pueblo. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. “”This does not include prisoners who have been convicted of a crime of violence or a sexual offense.”
    Chostner and his office have also agreed to not release individuals whose victims qualify for the Victims Rights Act.”
    .
    At least they seem to be using some common sense in deciding which inmates to release, although I’m not thrilled about anyone who was behind bars being released for reasons other than through the normal legal channels (and I don’t always agree with those reasons either)…

  2. Oh great now we have a virus that’s killing people and thugs get released to help the virus

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