SW Colorado jail population down 20 percent

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Durango, Colo. (AP) - Durango County's jail population has dropped by 20 percent this year, and officials credit a new drug court, intense supervision programs and speedy resolution to cases.

La Plata County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Homes says the average length of a jail stay has dropped from 22 days last year to 13.5 days this year. The average daily population of inmates so far this year is 140, compared with 178 in 2008.

District Attorney Todd Risberg says he supports reasonable jail terms that change behavior while complying with the law. He says most offenders get the same message from 10 days in jail as they do from 20.

Officials say they haven't seen a major cash savings since a full staff is needed to run the jail, despite the drop.

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