DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Independent Monitor on Wednesday sent a 15-page letter to city council members providing his theories for why there have been so many problems with the Denver Sheriff Department.
According to a copy of the letter obtained by CBS4, Nicholas Mitchell said sheriff misconduct can be traced to “significant supervisory gaps” at the downtown Denver Jail, inadequate retention of jail video which documents use of force incidents and several other “weaknesses.”
The monitor’s letter says “deputy isolation can become problematic” and that deputies are stationed alone in inmate areas for long periods of time. The letter suggests better supervision of deputies would help prevent misconduct.
“These supervisory gaps … create conditions that could foster misconduct,” wrote Mitchell.
The report states that internal jail video is typically only kept for 30 days making it difficult to resolve inmate complaints. Mitchell recommends that policy be changed and all available video footage be preserved indefinitely.
Mary Davis, chair of a Citizens Oversight Board, said the report “outlines significant deficiencies in or concerns about eight policy areas in the DSD.”