AURORA | The ongoing flap between Adams County and Aurora over bed space at the county jail is taking another turn.
Tonight, the city council is scheduled to vote on agreements with Broomfield and Douglas counties to house a handful of Aurora inmates, as many as eight in Douglas County and 10 in Broomfield County.
The plan comes after officials at the Denver jail — where some Aurora inmates have been housed since Adams County started limiting the number of municipal inmates allowed in 2012 — said they were running out of bed space.
Zelda DeBoyes, the city’s court administrator, said the longstanding agreement Aurora has with Denver to house Aurora inmates for $52 a day is still in place, but the Denver jail has a growing population that means less space for out-of-town inmates.
“It’s just that right now space is an issue,” she said.
Denver officials told Aurora officials in November that they would no longer be able to house Aurora inmates after Jan. 31, DeBoyes said. That date has since been pushed back to Feb. 15 under an agreement to give Aurora more time to work on agreements with other jails.
The need for more bed space for Aurora inmates stems from a controversial cap on the number of municipal inmates allowed at the Adams County Jail.
Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr, who put the cap in place, has said repeatedly that municipal inmates are the lowest-level offenders, and thus the least-dangerous among his inmates. So it makes sense to turn those inmates away as opposed to other, more-dangerous offenders.
Aurora inmates sentenced in district or county court are still housed at the jail, but those offenses tend to be more serious.
The cap means the jail will only house 30 inmates a day from municipal courts around the county, which tend to handle lower-level crimes. Before the cap, the jail housed about 120 municipal offenders each day.
Since the cap took effect, limiting Aurora to just four Adams County inmates from municipal court at any given time, Aurora has relied on Denver to house the overflow inmates.
Last year Aurora inmates spent the city spent more than 2,500 nights in Denver’s jail at a cost of more than $134,000.
Under the plan city council will consider Jan. 27, Douglas County would charge Aurora $51.45 per day an inmate stays at that jail. Broomfield would charge $55 per day.
Whats wrong with Arapahoe? No mention of your own county along with Adams.
This article failed to explain why Sheriff Doug Darr implemented the cap. Here is the answer I found in the Denver Post because Aurorans need to know it’s not about Sheriff Darr not caring about public safety:
Budget cuts closed three housing units at the Adams County jail because there weren’t enough deputies to manage inmates. In late 2011, Sheriff Doug Darr proposed the cap as a remedy. It was approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
(In other words, he is not going to compromise the safety of his deputies due to overloading of his jail). Imagine that. A Sheriff that actually cares about the safety of his own!
Question: Is our 72 hour hold filled to capacity? If not, why don’t we use/fill those beds instead of paying other counties?
Question: Since we know Aurora is growing in numbers of citizens, which will increase the numbers of inmates, why would we not build another jail of our own instead of a 24 million dollar plus officer training facility for officers we aren’t even hiring?
Three years later and how many prior to that knowing this is where it was headed and Aurora hasn’t solved it?