New commission creates statewide standards for Colorado jails

June 23, 2024

By: Zachary Dupont

The commission was made up of people with varied backgrounds, including members of law enforcement, victims’ rights advocates and mental health specialists. Vincent Atchity, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, who served on the commission, discussed how the variety of backgrounds was greatly beneficial.

“It’s an unusual space to be in where you’ve got, on the one hand, the health advocates, and on the other hand the jail-commander types,” Atchity said. “I think that there was all kinds of good ground for collaborative formulation of standards that made sense to people.”

Among some of the standards implemented include: a requirement for a nurse to provide medical treatment and medication to inmates; training for correctional officers to asses and reduce suicide risk; for correctional officers to meaningfully check on inmates every 15 minutes; and restrictions on solitary confinement.

Read the full article in The Denver Gazette