JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released 23 inmates early on Wednesday. It happened as part of the Early Release Program.

The sheriff’s office says because of $5.5 million in budget cuts, they had to close part of the jail and reduce their staff.

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(credit: CBS)

“When the jail population exceeds operational capacity by 2%, steps must be implemented to reduce the population to manageable levels,” officials stated in a news release on Wednesday.

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As the jail is overcrowded, they release qualifying inmates who have served at least 50% of their sentence.

Inmates first started being released in January. Some of the inmates released early then were serving sentences for aggravated motor vehicle theft, DUI and reckless driving.

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LINK: Early Release Information