Location: SCR 357
County Perspective: Montrose County
COUNTY COURTHOUSE AND COUNTY JAIL FUNDING AND OVERCROWDING SOLUTIONS
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02:44 PM -- County Perspective: Montrose County
Sheriff Rick Dunlap, Montrose County Sheriff, described the Montrose County Jail and issues he has faced in running the jail. He discussed inmate classification, noting that a number of categories must be addressed. He explained that Montrose County brought in national experts to make recommendations on its classification system, but that his jail has been unable to manage the jail population according to the new classifications. He added that Department of Corrections (DOC) and parole clients with no local charges take up additional bed space.
Sheriff Dunlap emphasized that DOC reimbursements are insufficient. He explained that housing an inmate costs the county $131 a day, far more than DOC reimburses. He discussed the amount of time it can take DOC to transfer its inmates, noting that it is capped at 72 hours in certain counties. In response to a question, Sheriff Dunlap discussed the costs that go into the $131 a day cost figure. He further described the different security needs for county and state inmates, noting that risk classification extends to both types.
Sheriff Dunlap responded to a question about mental health issues in his jail, expressing the opinion that incarceration does not benefit individuals with mental health needs, who are often housed in maximum security cells. He explained that Montrose does not house individuals with mental health holds and no criminal activity, and he discussed his work with the local hospital to address this issue.
Committee members discussed with Sheriff Dunlap the ability of DOC to receive inmates in a timely fashion and the setting of DOC reimbursement rates. Sheriff Dunlap added that counties are not reimbursed for the first 72 hours an inmate is held.
Sheriff Dunlap responded to a question about how Montrose County provides medical care for inmates, noting that the county contracts with a private company to provide medical services.
The committee recessed.