Settlement resolves dispute over number of municipal inmates housed in Adams County Jail

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - Adams County's jail will accept additional inmates from five municipalities under a settlement approved Tuesday by the Board of County Commissioners.

Over the last year, the Adams County's sheriff and the municipalities have had a war of words over the sheriff's cap on the number of jail inmates his jail would accept.

In May 2013, police chiefs in Aurora, Thornton, Westminster, Commerce City and Brighton called the refusal of inmates a public safety emergency. More recently, in March 2014, Aurora said it was releasing inmates after only three days because of the cap in the jail.

Police chiefs also asserted they had voluntarily reduced their population of prisoners and agreed to a reduction in sentencing but were not seeing a compromise from the sheriff's side.

In response, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said the cap was a policy necessitated by county-level decisions concerning staffing and the reductions in hiring. The cap was not related to the number of available cells, but rather the insufficient number of deputies to guard a larger population.

Under the new settlement, the five municipalities have agreed to a cap of 65 inmates and will pay for a daily fee for any inmate beyond the cap. The parties also agreed that domestic violence offenders will not be counted against the cap.

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