Mesa County Jail Facing Overcrowded Population
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The Mesa County Jail is dealing with an overcrowded population of inmates, hitting a record-high last week. Sheriff Stan Hilkey says the number of inmates reached 432 in one day, and was still over 400 as of Wednesday. Hilkey says several factors can influence the daily jail population, including policy changes, legislative changes or a big case such as the drug bust this spring. He says they are making do by putting temporary housing beds within existing housing units. "When that happens, you know, we see increased tension in the facility amongst inmates and staff. We start to get concerned about inmate on inmate assaults increasing or inmate on staff assaults increasing, so it does make for an environment that's more difficult to manage," Hilkey said. Officials will continue to monitor the inmate population and believe it will most likely drop in the near future. They say around this time last year there were 360-365 inmates in jail.