Denver Direct: New Justice Center? “It won’t look like a jail”.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

New Justice Center? “It won’t look like a jail”.

Could the Denver Police Department be systematically rounding up citizens to increase the “overcrowding” at the Denver Jail?

This report from a homeless friend who was inside the jail last week: He had been “flying his sign” on the street corner as usual when he was arrested for three outstanding warrants. These warrants were from last December, and although he has been out on the street almost every day since, the officer decided now was the time to take him in.

While he was incarcerated, he was taken from his cell and put into a large holding cell with 30 to 40 other inmates. Two photographers came in and photographed them in this large cell. He reports that the police said they needed to demonstrate the “overcrowding” problems they were having, “because we need a new jail”. (More on this report later).

Who is in the Denver Jail?

“Adults arrested for serious offenses grew by a modest 3 percent.
Persons arrested for less serious offenses drove the large growth in
adult arrests. Less serious arrests cover such criminal activities as illicit drug possession or sale, fraud, simple assaults, and public order offenses. These arrests grew by 14 percent. Drug arrests (up 32 percent) largely drove the increase in volume among these less serious offenses. Much of this increase in drug arrests was attributable to arrests for drug possession (up 42 percent).”