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Denver Mayor visits halfway house weeks after city council votes to end funding

Posted at 7:51 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 14:21:05-04

DENVER -- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock spent a portion of his afternoon visiting a halfway house that could be closed down at any moment. He used this trip to sway city council members to change their decision to stop funding.

Former inmates, now members of a halfway house, had questions for mayor Hancock. Specifically what’s going to happen to them. While the mayor says they are working on a plan, there was no definitive answer.

Mayor Hancock met with five halfway house clients, just a small portion impacted by city council’s decision to stop funding for six halfway houses in Denver.

The halfway houses and the programs run inside those buildings are run by GEO Group and CoreCivic. GEO also runs ICE detention facilities. Some council members voted against the renewal for that reason.

Roger Davis believes the program that’s helped him shouldn’t be lumped in with immigration politics.

"Taking away this is going to affect so much for our community by prison logs, jail backlogs; and the recidivism rate is going to go through the roof because you're going to be letting people out without the tools and steps needed to rebuild your lives," he said.

Halfway houses are no longer accepting new clients because of the city council’s decision. The mayor says he doesn’t think the city council put enough thought into the vote, leaving hundreds of former inmates in limbo.

“To render the lives of 500 individuals and create a backlog in the DOC (Department of Corrections) system flies in the face of all the social justice conversations that many of the council members have had," Hancock said.

Director of Safety, Troy Riggs, says the city will be releasing some definitive plans Wednesday, but it’s all contingent on the city council agreeing to the terms.