The average daily jail population in the Larimer County Jail in 1987 was 130 inmates. The average daily population moved within a narrow range until 1990 when the population reached 160. The population steadily increased over the next 15 years, reaching it's peak in 2005 at 513 inmates. In 2003 criminal justice consultants predicted that if criminal justice processes did not change, the Larimer County Jail would need 683 beds in 2011.
Several changes were implemented to reverse the trend. These changes were the result of a collaborative effort across the criminal justice system (via the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee) and included: 1) administrative changes in the courts, 2) expansion of pretrial services, 3) expansion of alternative sentencing options, 4) mental health treatment, and 5) development of specialty courts.
Continued diligence in identifying and implementing new treatment programs and the ongoing support of alternatives to incarceration should lessen the immediate pressure to expand the Larimer County Jail. With multiple options available when sentencing offenders, the criminal justice system helps ensure community safety in an efficient and cost effective manner.