Colorado Jail May House Less Inmates Amid Budget Cuts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Larimer County officials hamstrung by budget cuts are waiting for a judge to approve their plan to only jail suspects who have committed the most serious crimes.

The plan was formulated as the sheriff's office budget was slashed by $1.8 million and 18 employees were let go. Sheriff Jim Alderden says the cuts forced him to close a 32-bed pod because there weren't enough officers to monitor it. He says sometimes one officer oversees up to 72 inmates.

Alderden says officials will no longer be able to detain some criminals at the jail but that there's no other choice. Under the plan, homicide and assault suspects would be jailed, as well as suspects who are a threat to crime witnesses or the community. Burglary and drug distribution suspects would be booked and released.

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