Who’s in Colorado’s county jails? Data-collection legislation would provide answers

Colorado’s statute on county jail records is so antiquated, it still requires jailers to keep inmate information “in a book.”

It also dictates the collection of only a few data points, such as name, age, sex, offense, term of sentence, fine and citizenship.

But a bill making its way through the Colorado legislature would significantly expand our knowledge about who is incarcerated in county jails throughout the state, also providing the public and policymakers with a statewide picture. The goal of House Bill 19-1297 is to get “the information we need to make good decisions” about corrections policies in Colorado, said Rep. Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican who is sponsoring the bipartisan legislation with Rep. Mike Weissman, an Aurora Democrat.

Who’s in Colorado’s county jails? Data-collection legislation would provide answers.