As Seen On News 5

Jul 25, 2013 8:37 PM by Andy Koen

County seeks contract to ease halfway house bed shortage

PUEBLO - Pueblo County Commissioners have officially opened up bids for a new halfway house provider after the troubled Community Corrections Services Inc. (CCSI) closed in May. The county sought and received permission from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice to award a contract for up to 200 new beds, an increase of 80 beds over the former CCSI facility.

Inmates displaced by the closing of CCSI were moved to Minnequa Community Corrections. That facility has reached capacity for female offenders meaning women who are about to be paroled from the department of corrections will either put on a wait list or transfer to another county.

Pueblo is still the only county in the state without an independent community corrections oversight board. Commissioner Liane "Buffie" McFadyen says the commissioners want to create one but say need to address the bed shortage first.

"We want to give them a clean slate to start with, we'll own the problem now and we want to hand it off when it's at it's best," McFadyen.

In May, News 5 brought to light evidence security lapses uncovered by state auditors. Some of the more outrageous discoveries included late reporting of escapes, falsified records and sleeping guards.

McFadyen is confident those security problems have been fixed.

"I believe the state has more confidence in Pueblo County now that it did last year at this time."

The contract for a new halfway house should be awarded in a couple of months. There is no timetable projected for when the commissioners might reinstate the community corrections board.


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