Jail booking process backed up, causing court delays

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- A budget crisis at Mesa County Jail means it will no longer be open 24 hours a day.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey says budget constraints have left them unable to staff the booking area of the detention facility. Booking technicians are employees who process inmates in and out of the jail, update records on them, and schedule them for court appearances.

Without these positions, the jail will close from 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. everyday.

"As a result of not being open at that time, there will be an adverse impact, and that impact is the court system really starts to get delayed. And we'll experience a backup in the booking part of the jail, and we'll just have to manage it the best we can," said Hilkey.

He says these changes will be in effect for the next several weeks until they get people hired and trained.

Jail staff will still be accepting arrestees around the clock, since but they will not be booked into the data management system by a technician. According to Hilkey, this will not risk the safety or security of the jail or the community, since the jail will still be staffed by sheriff’s deputies.

Because arrestees will not be completely booked until 8 a.m., anyone arrested after 11:30 p.m. will not be arraigned for about a day and a half.

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