AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Six inmates from Aurora were released early on Monday allegedly because there was no room for them at the Adams County jail.
Between them the inmates have more than 120 arrests for crimes ranging from assault with a deadly weapon to burglary.
“It made me feel sick to my stomach. It pisses me off quite frankly,” said Aurora resident Terri Jerram.
One of the inmates, James Adkins, has 62 prior arrests for crimes including child abuse and was released 71 days early.
“Today the city is less safe because he’s been released to the public,” said Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates.
According to Oates, the Adams County jail has dozens of empty beds.
He called the release of Adkins and the others a failure by Adams County leadership.
“What do you and I think is likely to happen in the next 71 days given this person’s history of victimizing people?” said Oates.
Adams County had been housing 100 Aurora inmates but Sheriff Doug Darr cut that number to 30 last year for budget reasons.
The overflow had been handled by the Denver jail, which also now overcrowded.
In a statement Adams County Jail said: “these inmates Aurora has chosen to release were arrested in Aurora, charged in Aurora and convicted in Aurora municipal courts. They are the responsibility of the city of Aurora.”
In a message to CBS4 Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said that “we can only hope the gravity of the situation can persuade those elected to govern Adams County.”
Four Adams County cities and the City of Aurora have filed a lawsuit to force Darr to allow more inmates at the county jail.