Colorado Lawmakers Consider Solutions To Overcrowded County Jails

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Photo: Pueblo Jail CM
Inmates sleep on the floor of the dormitories at the Pueblo County Jail.

County jail overcrowding is a statewide issue in Colorado. Pueblo's is the most overcrowded in the state, with inmates sleeping in hallways and people addicted to drugs riding out withdrawal in public. The county jail in Alamosa operates at around 140 percent of its built capacity, according to a state legislative council report. This past summer, one drug-dependent woman gave birth in the facility without medical assistance. The jail also faced an outbreak of scabies.

Republican Sen. Don Coram and Democratic Rep. Adrienne Benavidez join Colorado Matters to discuss what state lawmakers are trying to do to address the problem. Coram and Benavidez are the chair and vice chair respectively of an interim study committee charged with finding solutions.