Denver Crime Up, Arrests Down, Jails Overcrowded


Serious crime in Denver is rising, arrests are down, the city lacks police officers, and jails are so overcrowded that officials are talking about housing some inmates in tents as soon as next week, says the Denver Post. The newspaper editorializes that “the mayor and his brain trust had better be doing some serious long-term thinking about the future of Denver’s criminal justice landscape.” Voters have approved a new downtown jail that would house 1,500 inmates by 2009, but the paper says that “planners need to update their projections.”

Arrests dropped 35 percent over the past six years, supposedly not because crime is on the decline but due to the reduced police force, overcrowded jails and a shortage of other resources. Says the Post: “We don’t wish to become a society of jails – obviously alternative punishment and crime prevention programs should be a priority – but we also don’t want to see the crime rate rise because the city is short of basic resources.”


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