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Pueblo County in search short term fixes for jail overcrowding - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo County in search short term fixes for jail overcrowding

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PUEBLO -

With a crumbling infrastructure that the county says it can't afford to fix--and taxpayers say they don't want to fund--the future of the Pueblo County Jail is still unclear.

"We're stuck it sounds like, until something dramatic happens.  But we do need a new jail," said Pueblo native Gloria Gonzales.

Gonzales says she voted "yes" on 1A, telling News5 it was an easy decision for her, given the 50 years she's worked as a bail bondsman.

"I've taken people out of jail who have been in there and they've complained terribly about the conditions.  I feel sorry for them.  They've committed crimes and everything, but they shouldn't have to live in a 'sewer'--I don't think," she said.

But 54% of voters disagreed, striking down the proposed county sales tax raise.

Since there are no long term solutions in place, the county will have to turn their attention to some more short term ones.

"I think everything is on the table," said Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz, who headed the Jail Task Force.

"Do we ship inmates to surrounding counties?  Do we actually have a threshold within this facility where we say 'we have a maximum number and we can't accept above that?  And anything above that will have to overflow into this other option that we go with," he added.

And the funding for that will likely come from previous taxpayer money.

"We would mainly be looking at our general fund taxes that we collected to see what we could do to help alleviate a lot of the concerns we had there--and still do," Ortiz explained.

He says the Pueblo County Jail Task Force will disband, now that the election is over.

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