The Costs of County Jails

Colorado’s annual legislative session may be in recess but interim committees are still meeting and wrapping up their work. One group studied county prison overcrowding and the cost of housing inmates. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.


Democratic Representative Daphna Michaelson-Jenet says one major concern is the state isn’t properly compensating every county for the true cost. “The number that we come up with is relatively arbitrary.”

She also notes that some people spend a lot more time behind bars than necessary, just waiting to even get a bail hearing “Because it is hard to get justices out to some of the rural areas.”

She suggests create something similar to tele-medicine but for judges to be able to do some hearings remotely. The bipartisan committee is discussing multiple ideas before proposing legislation.