Concerns growing about Denver jail overcrowding

Posted at 12:27 AM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 02:27:43-04

Heading into the busy summer months there's real concern about overcrowding at the Denver Jail. All but two days in March saw inmate levels over 92 percent capacity.

"Obviously when you get into an overcrowding state it increases tension in the jail, increases problems when it comes to management," said Division Chief Gary Wilson with the Denver Sheriff's Department.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, there were 2,073 people in both jail facilities and that's after 55 inmates were released.

During the first three months of this year the jail population was rising to levels higher than the past two years.

"Based upon our trending we’re anticipating 2016 to be a tough year," said Wilson.

The department cites the city's growing population as one of the reasons behind the spike. Officials are exploring ways to reduce the jail population.

"So I’m hoping we’re using techniques to make sure that we keep minor offenses out of the jail. That’s the most important thing is making sure they’re not in the jail in the first place," said City Councilman Wayne New.