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July 11, 2023

Boulder County Breaks Ground on New Alternative Sentencing Facility

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Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County commemorated a groundbreaking event of the Alternative Sentencing Facility (ASF) last Friday, July 7, at Airport Road in Boulder on the lot of the Boulder County Jail. The $35.6M project will mirror other similar alternative sentencing facilities and provide programming up to 252 offenders who have been sentenced to one of the county’s community-based sentencing programs. When complete, the 55,626 square-foot ASF building will also have community-based classrooms, several day rooms, and support spaces. ASF building construction is projected to take 18-months.

In November 2018, Boulder County residents voted on a tax measure to extend an existing 0.185% sales tax for five years for the purpose of funding construction of an Alternative Sentencing Facility at the Boulder County Jail and providing expanded alternative sentencing and offender management programs to keep low risk offenders out of expensive jail beds and enable better outcomes for the jail population. The Boulder County Alternative Sentencing Facility is a community-based, minimum security, residential facility that will house all alternative sentencing programs utilized in Boulder County. Alternative sentences are programs that allow offenders to serve their sentences in a less restrictive structure than a traditional jail or prison and can be residential or non-residential in nature. ASF is a community supervision model that offers a host of evidence-based programs tailored to address client’s individual criminogenic need and provide a framework for successful community re-entry.

In Boulder County, we are working hard to improve community safety – including by reducing the likelihood of re-offense. For too long, Colorado has lagged behind other states in the successful rehabilitation of offenders and community safety suffers as a result. Thanks to the support of Boulder County community members, the Alternative Sentencing Facility is a great step forward in targeting and addressing the underlying needs of offenders and better preparing them for a successful transition back to the community. This groundbreaking is the start of an innovative and more effective approach in helping people and enhancing community safety,said District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

“We are excited to break ground on Boulder County’s Alternative Sentencing Facility,” said Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy. “On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I would like to thank the voters for supporting this new facility and all of our colleagues who have worked so hard to bring us to this point. This innovative new facility is the next step in realizing our commitment to shift to a behavioral health focus for low-risk justice-involved individuals, supervise offenders in the least restrictive environment that is consistent with public safety, and remove for-profit corporations from our criminal justice system. This facility will contribute to making Boulder County a leader in providing a more rehabilitative and therapeutic approach to successful community re-entry.”

ASF is a joint project between Boulder County’s Public Works Department, Boulder County Community Services, Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. For more information about Boulder County’s Alternative Sentencing Facility project and programs, visit www.bouldercounty.gov/safety/community-justice-services/alternative-sentencing-facility.

Alternative Sentencing Facility Groundbreaking Event on Friday, July 7
(Photo above - From left to right: Boulder County Sheriff (former) Joe Pelle – Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin – Boulder County Community Services Division Manager Monica Rotner – Boulder County Sheriff (current) Curtis Johnson – Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy – Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty) (Photo credit - Eric Patzer)