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Jail's too popular to suit county officials

Posted: Thursday, Aug 29th, 2013

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — County jail is very popular these days, and the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) want to know why and what they can do to slim down its numbers.

Alamosa County Sheriff Dave Stong told the ACC on Wednesday during their regular meeting the Alamosa County Jail had a daily average population of 97 inmates in July, with 77 housed on site. The jail saw an average of 2.5 inmates booked each day and 3.5 inmates released each day. The current inmate population is 81 in house inmates with 14 inmates housed in other jurisdictions, costing the county $40 a day per inmate.

This trend, according to reports earlier this year, counters the state’s overall drop in the incarcerated. Last December, 2,109 beds were empty in mostly private prisons forced to forgo state payment. Before next summer, budget and criminal justice statisticians predict unoccupied bed numbers will rise to between 2,600 and 3,600.

“Maybe we need to spend a little money and figure this out,” said Alamosa County Commissioner Darius Allen about getting to the root of the problem without further delay. “We need to identify those (reasons for the high population). Why are ours going up?”

For the complete article see the 08-29-2013 issue.

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