The Boulder County Jail, located at 3200 Airport Road, Boulder, Colorado, 80301, opened in 1988 with a bed design capacity of 287. The jail is a 103,400 square foot facility currently having a bed capacity of 536.
These beds range from maximum security single-cells to minimum security dormitory housing units. The total cost of the facility including acquisition of the land was $14.95 million. Overall construction costs were approximately $11 million.
The jail was designed using scenarios developed by Voorhis and Associates, Inc., Criminal Justice Consultants, Sheriff Brad Leach, retired, his staff and others from Boulder County. These scenarios were developed into a pre-architectural program. Then, utilizing this program, an innovative facility design was created by Lescher and Mahoney of the Dana, Larson, Roubal and Associates Architectural and Engineering Group. This design provides the Boulder County Jail an effective environment for management of its inmate population.
The facility was developed by utilizing the knowledge and experience of our jail employees, other criminal justice agencies and other users of the jail. In scenario development, the pre-architectural program and the design of this facility evolved. This enabled us to build a facility which meets the needs of those who use it. The design has already earned several architectural awards.
The jail houses inmates of all security levels, from maximum to minimum including work release inmates. The work release dormitory is connected to, but separate from the main jail. It shares the main jail support systems while preventing minimum security offenders from mixing with a population requiring greater security. The result is a jail that can provide more efficient treatment and control for all inmates.
This, and the development of a jail management computer system, allow the Sheriff’s Office to operate a facility safely and effectively. The operational scenarios and architectural design resulted in a lower staff-to-inmate ratio while maintaining the safety and security of the facility. This is a cost effective jail in terms of staffing and inmate management.
The jail’s mission contains the statement that every inmate will leave the facility in better condition than they entered. There are a full range of programs and services available to inmates. This provides inmates with the opportunity for corrective personal growth. These programs also assist jail staff with the management of the inmate population by keeping the inmates occupied in a positive manner.
A courtroom for arraignments and hearings is on the premises. This saves taxpayers money since it reduces the manpower needed to transport inmates and it maintains a secure environment for the public, the court, the inmates and employees.
The jail design provides the opportunity for friends, family and others to visit inmates. Visits may be scheduled by telephone or in person. This allows the inmates to stay in touch with the outside world, a constitutional guarantee.
The facility was designed to be expandable. Since 1988, the jail capacity has been increased six times. This was necessary due to the growing inmate population. The criminal justice system utilizes alternative sentence options when they are applicable so that the secure jail beds can be used by those inmates who need them.
The facility is staffed under the direction of Sheriff Joe Pelle. The jail administrator is Division Chief Jeff Goetz. He is supported by a staff of four Commanders, twelve sergeants from a total staff of 186. The jail utilizes its own staff to provide medical and food services. Registered nurses are on duty 24 hours per day, seven days per week.