Safety improvements make facility safer for inmates and detention deputies
PITKIN COUNTY, COLO. (June 29, 2023) - Next month, Pitkin County inmates who have been housed at the Eagle County Detention Facility will return to the Pitkin County Jail. The jail facility at 506 E. Main St. in Aspen has received numerous safety improvements ahead of the inmates’ arrival. The inmates were moved out of the facility in 2021 after county officials determined safety improvements were needed.
Anti-ligature, detention grade, steel cell doors have been installed, door handles have been replaced with safer models, and fixtures within cells have been upgraded to improve safety. For example, stainless steel toilets replaced porcelain toilets, which posed hazards, and concrete bed frames were installed. An ADA-compliant, or Americans with Disabilities Act, cell was constructed where regular cells existed previously. Space formerly used for inmate property storage was converted into a dress-out room with a shower for those being booked in or released. In addition, new lights and flooring have been installed.
“The safety of the jail is equally important for the inmate as it is for our detention deputies. We’re all human beings regardless of what side of the bars we’re on,” said Michael Buglione, Pitkin County Sheriff.
These recent improvements temporarily close the jail’s work release program and do not fix the structural issues that remain in the facility – primarily how to sustainably and safely separate inmates by classification such as severity of offense and gender. In the newly renovated jail, inmates will be separated by classification but the set-up is a short-term fix and requires the temporary closure of the jail’s work release program.
“A longer term solution is being sought by the Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Pitkin County Commissioners, county staff, the Pitkin County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, and the community. Goals for the future of the jail include staying on the leading edge of evidence-based practices that lower recidivism, protect public safety, and reflect community values,” said Buglione.
In addition to the reopening of the jail to inmates, jail staff are bringing back programming for inmates such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and yoga.
Media contact: Marci Suazo, email@example.com, (970) 309-2343