Budget cuts may force JeffCo Detention Facility to release inmates early

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GOLDEN, Colo. — Due to budget cuts, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office plans to close the seventh floor of its detention facility next month, decreasing its inmate population by 250.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader, he was forced by county commissioners to slash the facility’s budget by $5.5 million.

“We can’t afford the staff to run the entire jail,” Shrader said.

Shrader said this move has been the most difficult and exhausting in his 36-year career with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

“I raised my hand and said I was going to do everything I could to keep the people in Jefferson County safe… And this is contrary to everything I have worked the entirety of my career,” Shrader said.

Shrader is concerned because he’ll likely have to release the 250 inmates early from their sentences.

“That is an interruption and a travesty to the criminal justice system,” he said. “There will be people that I don’t think should be getting out of jail early.”

Schrader was also forced to reduce his staff by 51 positions. But earlier in the year, he put a hiring freeze in effect to prevent that from happening.

“For the services that remain, we’re going to focus on excellent, quality service,” Shrader said.

The reduction in inmate beds will begin on Jan. 1, 2020. According to Shrader, it’s looking like he’ll have to make additional cuts in 2021.

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