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Denver County Jail

10500 Smith Road
Denver, CO 80239-3232
(720) 913-3600

Interview with Ralph, Rachel, Fred, Craig and Joe

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Ralph: 150 days
Rachel: I was sentenced for 45 days, it was part of the plea agreement so it was already known and agreed to once the p,ea was signed.
Fred: one hundred and fifty days
Craig: The original sentence, or the revised one?
Joe: I originally accepted an offer to serve 10 days in jail(6 days with good time, however the laws have been changed and I believe you have to do the straight ten now on a DUI)plus 50 days ankle monitoring at a cost of about 14 dollars a day I think, probation for 2 years with monitored sobriety at a cost of $50 a month. I believe 46 weeks of classes at $18 a class. A victim impact panel at $25. ^0 some hours of community service. Plus everyday you are required to call into a number to see whether or not you have to go get a drug test that day. If you don't you risk revocation of your probation which will land you back in jail. You can expect to take a 100 drug screens over a 2 year period at an average cost of $15 per test.

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Ralph: no
Rachel: I unfortunately turned myself in on a Friday and was sent to Denvercity jail. It was awful! I don't drink or do drugs and shared 3 days in a little cell with 2 crackheads.
Fred: yes i did actually, I had to turn myself into city jail until being released then to get another turn in date into county jail where the sentencing will begin.
Craig: Yes. It was TERRIBLE. Denver doesn't have holding cells. They have holding tanks. Rooms with a bench along the walls, atoilet in the corner, and anywhere from 1 to standing-room- only amount of people crammed in them.
Joe: Upon remanding myself into custody, I was transported down to a holding cell for a couple of hours the taken via a tunnel to the booking area. You are virtually free to move about the area until your name is called and watch TV while waiting to be booked. This process took me 9 hours when I was there. They will feed you a bagged bologna sandwich lunch. After you are booked, you will be taken to change clothes and then taken up to the 2nd floor where you will stay until you are assigned a pod. You will be locked down 23 out the 24 hrs, until you get assigned to a pod. My experience is that I got assigned the next morning. The mattresses were comfortable in the 2-man cell. There are 32 cells, so their is up to 64 men in a pod. Breakfast is served around 5:30AM, Lunch at 10:30AM, and dinner at around 5-6PM.

Life On the Inside
Even though the Denver County Jail has been around since 1956 there is always room for improvement. In fact, the jail is currently undergoing a major expansion that will mean the demolition of many of the old buildings. As exciting as that might be to inmates, they are also building new housing units to hold even more "guests."

The types of house in the Denver County Jail range from minimum security dormitory housing to maximum security cell blocks to special management "lock-down" areas. Which type of housing an inmate will be assigned to will be determined after their initial stay in the Classification Unit where a complete evaluation will be conducted.

For a county jail, there is actually a wide selection of programs available for inmates to take advantage of while on the inside. One of the most coveted spots is the work released program for minimum offenders. Not only are the inmates allowed to travel back and forth to work each day but their housing accommodations are reported to be the nicest with amenities like vending machines and more area to roam in.

Beyond the work release there are also domestic violence and substance abuse counseling, a G.E.D. program, career guidance and vocational testing.

Getting along with other inmates
As for the inmate population, former residents discovered quickly that noise is a problem even through the night. Also, befriending a fellow inmate might seem like a good approach, but it can also lead to trouble if your new "friend" only wants to mooch off your commissary. The favorite meal was cereal for breakfast because "you can't screw up cereal."

Inmates have available books to read and board games to play. There is a television which is operated by majority rules as to what to watch. There isn't a lot of outdoor recreation time. However, there are weekly church services which can provide a figurative ray of sunshine.

Good Behavior Policy
The Denver state policy for good behavior time is that an inmate has to serve at least 50% of their time before becoming eligible for any kind of parole. The exception is with sex offenders who have to serve 75% of their sentence.

Visitor and Phone Policy
Visitation is set up by appointment only. These are no contact visits that are conducted through a video monitor system. In other words, you'll be visiting through a camera. No visits are allowed until an inmate has been processed through to a housing unit.

Each unit has their own specific time and day for visits. Phones are made available to inmates up to 9 PM. These are for collect calls only but they can use a prepaid calling card to make the connections.

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