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Boulder County Jail Update

On March 24, Governor Polis provided guidance to counties, municipalities, all law enforcement agencies, and all detention centers operating in the State on their efforts to protect public safety while limiting the spread of COVID-19.

In response to this public health pandemic, Boulder County, the District Attorney’s’ Office and the courts took immediate steps to maintain public safety, protect victims, reduce the public presence at the courthouse, and limit the spread of the virus in Boulder County. 

As part of the effort to limit the spread of the virus within our community, the population at the County jail had to be addressed.  Approximately 90 non-violent offenders were released to reduce the jail population. Unlike state prisons, where offenders serve years of incarceration, offenders in the County jail are only there for short amounts of time.  The District Attorney’s Office reviewed each individual case and moved to release those who did not demonstrate a significant risk to community safety. Boulder County Community Justice Services and the Probation Department are working with these eligible offenders to monitor and support their release. 

Boulder County is not alone; other counties in Colorado are taking the same steps to reduce the population in their jails.  The state prison system is doing the same. 

These are difficult times that require difficult choices. It is a careful balancing of public safety, community health, and the treatment and rights of those in the County Jail – and time is of the essence when it comes to the spread of this virus.   An outbreak of the coronavirus in jail would spread fast and impact not only those behind bars, but jail staff, medical staff, their families and the wider community.