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26 more inmates released early from JeffCo jail amid budget cuts

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has released dozens of inmates early this year due to a plan aimed at reducing the jail's population.
Credit: 9NEWS

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released 26 inmates from its jail Monday and Tuesday amid budget constraints.

Inmates have been released early from the Jefferson County jail multiple times this year as part of a new population management plan that took effect Jan. 2. Under the plan, when the jail population exceeds capacity by 2%, steps are taken to reduce the population to manageable levels.

The latest round of inmates were held on charges ranging from driving under the influence to obstruction of a peace officer.

>>> Watch the video above for a previous explanation of the Jefferson County inmate releases. 

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Inmates eligible for release must have served a minimum of 50% of their sentence, the sheriff’s office said.

Last year, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader announced his department would be facing significant budget cuts in 2020. To continue operating the jail in that county, he said he would have to make some changes to house fewer inmates.

First, the sheriff decided to close an entire floor of the jail. That decreased the jail capacity from 1,392 to beds to 1,148 beds. Staffing was also reduced by 51 positions.

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