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Pueblo County forming jail task force to address longstanding jail issues

April 6, 2017 Updated: April 6, 2017 at 9:45 am
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Pueblo County Jail. Gazette file photo.

Officials have taken a step forward in addressing longstanding issues with overcrowding and decaying infrastructure at the Pueblo County jail.

The newly-formed Pueblo County Jail Task Force met for the first time last month, according to a county news release.

The task force, created to address problems at the jail that are creating a risk for its inmates and staff, will recommend solutions and improvements in a report to be released this summer.

The group, which will convene five times a month, is comprised of 30 members, including citizens and representatives from the city and county, law local enforcement, area businesses and hospitals.

The county has spent $1 million on unanticipated costs at the jail, which is 145 percent above capacity, according to the news release.

In early March, three jail deputies were assailed by inmates. The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said overcrowding likely spurred the attacks, which left the deputies with minor injuries.

"These attacks are just the tip of the iceberg of what's to come if we don't figure out a way to get some relief in the jail with regard to overcrowding," Sheriff Kirk Taylor said in a statement following the incidents. "At some point the bough will break and we're very close to reaching that point."

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Contact Rachel Riley: 636-0108

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