PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is hosting an open house so the public can tour the jail.
In August, FOX21 reported the jail is facing overcrowding issues, and since then, the sheriff’s office and county commissioners have received a lot of questions from the public. Because of this, the sheriff’s office will open the facility up to the public next Saturday.
Sheriff Kirk Taylor said that the jail belongs to the community and they have a right to see it.
The jail population has been increasing and reached a record high of more than 800 inmates last month, but the jail is only built to hold 500.
Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz has been a huge advocate for increasing the capacity, which he said will only come with a new building.
He said that would require less than a half percent sales tax increase, which could fund a new facility over 30 years.
Ortiz told FOX21 that unless you actually smell the sewage, see the plastic boats laying on the ground where people are supposed to sleep and see how only one deputy is supposed to control upwards of 90 inmates, it’s hard to see how desperate the jail is and why there is so much urgency with this issue.
The open house is happening October 14. The public can come in for a tour anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The entire family is welcome to see the inner workings of the sheriff’s office, but the jail tour has some restrictions:
- Participants touring the secured part of the jail must be at least 18 years old.
- No open-toed shoes, cell phones, knives, firearms, bags, backpacks, contraband or purses are allowed in the secured part of the jail.
- Proper identification (driver’s license, state identification, military identification etc.) is required to enter the secured portion of the jail.
- There will not be a secured area for restricted or personal items while individuals are touring the facility, and the sheriff’s office will not be held responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.
- The sheriff’s office has certain procedures that must be followed before people can tour the inside of the jail. Participants are subject to emergency procedures and clearance objectives. All decisions made by security staff are considered final.
The public should be aware the conditions may be dangerous, loud, and full of course language, as is typical of an adult detention facility.