Voters to Decide Jail Expansion

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Expanding the El Paso County jail system will soon be in the hands of voters. On Thursday, county commissioners officially decided to put the issue on November's ballot.

Local law enforcement agencies say the current system needs to be expanded because of overcrowding problems. The $38 million plan would add an additional 864 beds to the Criminal Justice Center to ease the problem.

The measure would mean an average property tax increase of $15 per year on a $200,000 home.

Jail records show the overcrowding problem is serious. Since 1992, the number of prisoners has jumped 88.5 percent. And in just the last year, the inmate population has grown by 11.9 percent.