County OKs correction center contract |

County OKs correction center contract

Garfield County is moving forward with a community correction center that officials hope will open next year.County commissioners on Monday approved a $1.41 million design/build contract with Iowa-based Oakview Construction and Kansas-based Archetype for the project.The building is scheduled to open next March.The 10,000-square-foot structure will be located on county land near the county airport outside Rifle.It will be able to accommodate 60 offenders and 38 staff. However, initially it will house only 35 people, based on currently available state funding to operate the facility, Commissioner John Martin said. The program now is available only to male offenders, but the building will allow for 10 females to be housed as well.Community corrections is a residential program designed as an alternative to prison for qualifying offenders. They receive life skill training, employment support and drug and alcohol treatment.”It keeps people out of jail,” Martin said.He said the program also serves as a bridge for former prisoners transitioning back into civilian life.The program will free up space in the 196-bed county jail in Glenwood Springs. Martin said that will be important as the jail comes under increasing pressure to temporarily hold undocumented immigrants and to take in state Department of Corrections prisoners for whom state prison space isn’t available.”It’s just like the old days revisited again,” Martin said, referring to the state’s past reliance on the county to house state prisoners.Several environmentally friendly features are being planned for the new facility, including low-water-consumption shower heads and other plumbing fixtures, Xeriscape landscaping and fluorescent lighting.

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