Jail remodel adds capacity | PostIndependent.com

Jail remodel adds capacity

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A small portion of the Garfield County Jail is getting a remodel that will add capacity and more options for temporarily housing inmates.

Sgt. Kevin Erpestad said the construction began early this year. The over 3,000-square-foot area on the ground floor of the jail used to be an open room with dormitory-style bunks for the community corrections program. The remodel came after the county opened a new Community Corrections Center near Rifle in May 2007.

“When they built the building in Rifle it didn’t really fit our purposes anymore,” Erpestad said. “Basically we’re getting beds back that we lost to com-core.”

He said the area was really just a temporary fix for the community corrections program until it could open its own facility.

Once the remodel is complete, the area will have 11 new cells for a total of 35 more beds. About four can hold around four to six inmates and the others can hold two inmates. That will add a significant amount of capacity to the jail, which currently has around 165 beds, Erpestad said.

He said the added capacity could allow the county to avoid having to build another jail in Rifle for a few years or more. The remodel is expected to be complete by December. But as for now, he said, “We’re running pretty close” to capacity. On Thursday, there were about 150 inmates in the jail.

The remodeled area will be used for short-term lodging and as a staging area for inmates getting booked in or being moved. It will also house inmates who are about to get released or get out of jail on bond, Erpestad said.

The white-painted cinder blocks and light blue trim around doors and windows will match the rest of the jail.

Erpestad said the cost of the remodel, by Mueller Construction, is roughly in the $750,000 range.

Cells in the remodeled area will offer inmates more than is standard in cells throughout the rest of the jail. There will be a phone in each cell and showers in several of them so inmates can spruce up or make calls before getting out of jail.

There is also an open area outside the cells that will include chairs and a television.

Inmates will also be able to contact the outside world through two video-visitation devices. In video-visitation, an inmate sits down in front of a screen and a camera in the open area outside the cells. They can see and speak to family or friends on the other end of the devices near the front desk of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121


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