ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — Sheriff Tyler Brown says Arapahoe County urgently needs a new detention facility — and took his case straight to the public by doing a virtual tour of the current facility on Facebook. Sheriff Brown says the Arapahoe County Detention Facility is old, crowded and dangerous.
Sheriff Brown said assaults on deputies are on the rise.
“That worries me greatly. More inmates have been assaulting our deputies than ever before,” he said.
“For the safety of our deputies, and the inmates, a larger building is absolutely needed. With the current increase in population, it only makes sense to have a larger jail. It’s time,” the sheriff wrote in the comments on the video tour.
Brown said nearly approximately 40% of the inmates suffer from mental illness and they need more assistance.
“Think about what that means when inmates get out. Studies show inmates who do not receive services or programming are likely to commit more crimes. That’s why treatment is so important,” Brown said.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:
“Built more than 30 years ago to house 386 inmates, today the Arapahoe County Detention Facility holds some 1,200 inmates. Crowding, and a growing population with mental illness creates challenges in managing inmates and makes the facility less safe for deputies. Assaults against deputies are at an all-time high. While the jail provides treatment for mental health, medical and behavioral issues, more programs could be provided to reduce repeat offenses. Critical infrastructure is also failing.
“A modern and safe detention facility is one of many needs identified by Arapahoe County as the population grows. The Board of County Commissioners established a Long Range Planning Committee and appointed 25 residents, business and civic leaders. The advisory task force will review the current and projected fiscal situation, along with transportation issues and infrastructure needs at the Arapahoe County Justice Center.”