May 4, 2010 9:04 PM by News First 5

Jail breaks recent trend

For the first time in more than a decade, El Paso County jail officials say they're seeing a decrease in the number of inmates and the length of their stays.

"We figure for every two days we cut off of the average length of stay that saves us 140 beds," said El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. "That's 140 inmates that are no longer in here. and when you start to look at the cost of $40 a day to house them it does have a huge tax savings."

On Tuesday, El Paso County commissioners took an annual tour of the jail that is required by law.

Maketa credits the reintegration and recovery program that started in 2007. It offers education and case management.  "We can trace back the successes of that, the recidivism among our population and mathematically equate to what we're seeing with our overall population," he said.

In 2008, the average daily population was 1538 and the average length of stay was 26 days.  In 2009, the average daily population was 1499 and the average stay was 21 days.




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