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The Inmate Handbook Explains It All!

While incarcerated, people in our care acquire valuable knowledge, skills, and work experience through Denver Sheriff Department vocational training opportunities and/or other occupational education courses offered at our facilities. Download the Inmate Handbook (PDF) to learn more about these opportunities and, if you're looking for more information about time spent in jail, this book will give you answers.

Search For Someone

If you are not sure at which facility a person is located, do an online inmate search. Once you've located the person you're searching for, schedule a visit. 

Schedule a Visit

Ready for a visit? Make sure to schedule your visit through our online scheduler. Get helpful instructions on our Jail Visit Requests page. While there, check out the dress code, guidelines, and ways to prepare for lobby video and remote video visits.

Services Offered:

The Alternative Sentencing Program allows those in our care to maintain their employment, education, and/or treatment. Learn more about the Alternative Sentencing Program.

The Work Search Program allows people to search for employment while in jail. Learn more about the Work Search Program.

The Religious Services staff is responsible for assuring people have the opportunity to participate in religious practices deemed essential to their faith while incarcerated. This is accomplished through the leadership of the Inmate Programs Chaplain and trained religious services volunteers, representing churches and other faith-based organizations in the community. Religious services include bible study, religious studies, worldview classes, and more.

On a weekly basis, services and bible studies are held.

Annually, hundreds of people receive individual spiritual counseling through the Sheriff Department chaplains and/or volunteers from various church organizations.

When a religious leader of an inmate’s faith is not represented through volunteers, the chaplain assists the inmate in contacting such a person. 

In addition, local churches and/or charitable organizations donate the majority of religious reading materials distributed in the jails.

The Denver Sheriff Department is fortunate to have the support of numerous religious leaders in the community to provide services to people of different faiths.

It is the mission of the Denver Sheriff’s Food Service Department to ensure that all inmates housed in our facilities receive meals that are nutritionally balanced, diverse, and prepared and served in the manner that upholds industry standards for health and safety.

Meals
Inmates receive three meals per day (breakfast, lunch & dinner). Bread is also baked on premises weekly. Food is prepared daily under controlled sanitary conditions. All meals have been approved by an independent Registered Dietician to ensure balance and variety.

Religious Diets
We provide religious meals that are reviewed by certified personnel to ensure adherence to religious requirements. We are also observant of food needs for religious holidays.

Special Medical Diets
Our partnership with the Medical Department provides immediate communication for inmates with special dietary and health needs. Special medical diets are verified before all meal times.

Food Education & Certification
It is important to the Food Department that the experience within our kitchens is an educational experience. Inmates have an opportunity to become ServSafe Food Handlers Certified; this is a nationally recognized certification and is a requirement for work at most food establishments.

We also provide training in warehousing, cook-chill preparation and bakery production.

Unless specified by the court, only inmates sentenced through County Court are eligible for the Sheriff Home Detention Program. 

Here is some information on eligibility and policies of the program:

  • Sentenced to 35 days or more and half of that time spent in jail
  • Spend 10 days or more in the Sheriff Home Detention Program
  • Electronic monitoring required
  • Proof of a suitable residence
  • Subject to random alcohol and drug testing
  • May work, if employed
  • Physical job search is not allowed
  • Random, unannounced home and job site checks by uniformed officer
  • Must have a disposition compatible with this program

To appropriately classify individuals who enter our correctional facilities, we use two models: Direct Supervision and Objective Classification Direct Supervision Model.


The Direct Supervision model combines two key elements:

  1. The physical design of the jail and housing units
  2. Inmate management strategy

Direct supervision jails focus on actively managing the behavior of those in their care to ensure a safe and secure environment for inmates, staff, and visitors.

Staff interact continuously with inmates in the housing units, actively supervising them to identify problems in their early stages. They use basic management techniques to prevent negative behavior and encourage positive behavior. Staff assume control of the jail and establish a professional supervisory relationship with inmates. There are no barriers separating staff and inmates in the housing units.

The physical design of the jail supports the management of inmate behavior by reducing physical barriers that impede upon staff and inmate interaction and ensures clear sightlines into all areas of the housing units. Incorporating certain design elements in fixtures and furnishings promotes positive behavior, as well.

For more information, visit the National Institute of Corrections website.


Objective Classification relies on a narrow set of well-defined, standardized factors to determine housing and program needs within the jail. Some of these factors are:

  • Severity of current offense
  • Prior convictions
  • Prior incarcerations
  • Institutional behavior

For more information, visit the National Institute of Corrections website.

You can now find the location of an inmate in Denver county with our new Inmate Search tool.

Can't find the inmate you're looking for in Denver?

Please address mail to:

Inmate’s name and CD #
Denver Sheriff Department
P.O. Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

NOTE: Mail addressed to the Downtown Detention Center or the County Jail will be returned to sender. 

If mailed directly from a store or publisher, books may be sent to an inmate. Items not allowed to be given to someone in our care: stationary, books, or religious items.

Denver Health is a comprehensive, integrated organization providing level one care for all, regardless of ability to pay. Twenty-five percent of all Denver residents, or approximately 150,000 individuals, receive their healthcare at Denver Health. One in three children in Denver is cared for by Denver Health physicians.

As Colorado's primary safety net institution, Denver Health has provided billions of dollars in uncompensated care. Denver Health is an integrated, efficient, high-quality healthcare system serving as a model for other safety net institutions across the nation.

Denver Health's Mission:

  • Provide access to the highest quality health care, whether for prevention, or acute and chronic diseases, regardless of ability to pay;
  • Provide life-saving emergency medicine and trauma services to Denver and the Rocky Mountain region;
  • Fulfill public health functions as dictated by the Denver Charter and the needs of the citizens of Denver;
  • Provide health education for patients;
  • Participate in the education of the next generation of health care professionals; and
  • Engage in research, which enhances our ability to meet the health care needs of Denver Health system patients

Mental Health Services

The behavioral health services team consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, advanced practicing nurses, nursing staff, case managers, and social workers. They work together to provide the best care to those in our care. Services include medication management, individual therapy, group therapy, and case management. The High Acuity Transition (HAT) unit is located at the Downtown Detention Center and is a voluntary program designed for inmates with chronic and persistent mental illness.

The Male and Female Transition Units are located at the County Jail and provide clinical and transitional services to appropriate inmates with mental illness. A 30-day prescription for psychiatric medications is provided to inmates released into the community from Denver County in order to encourage a continuum of care.

Learn more about Denver Health by visiting denverhealth.org.

Add Money to Inmate Accounts

There are three ways to place monies on an account for someone in our care. Each way requires a Criminal Descriptor number which can be found by doing an Inmate Search:

  1. Cash or Credit:
    Payments can be made by kiosk–cash or credit card–located at the Downtown Detention Facility (490 Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206) or the Denver County Jail (10500 E Smith Rd, Denver, CO 80239).
  2. Money Order:
    If paying by money order, please drop it off at the information desk at either the Denver Detention Center or County Jail. Write the name and CD number of the person in our care directly onto the money order to ensure the money goes to the correct person.
  3. Online Pay:
    Monies can be placed on an inmate’s account by going to Access Corrections

Money can be withdrawn from an account if agreed to by the inmate and they have ample funds in their account. A valid government issued ID will be required to make this request.

Calling Cards

In order to receive calls from a person in our care, you need to create an account with Securus Technologies. To set up an account with Securus, visit their website at www.securustech.net or call 800-844-6591.


Did you pay into GlobalTel*Link (GTL), our previous telephone service provider? Because GTL monies will not transfer to Securus, you'll want to contact them to get a refund at 877-650-4249 or www.gtl.net

A GTL agent will either process the requested refund or provide instructions for receiving a refund by mail.

If refunding to a credit or debit card, a GTL agent will submit a refund request after obtaining the card details from the customer over the phone. A credit should appear on the card account within 30 - 60 business days.

If refunding a Western Union or money order payment, GTL will submit a refund request to the agency. 

Requesting a refund online? Follow these steps:

  • Select Inmate Friends and Family Members
  • Select Global Tel*Link Billing Support
  • Select Refund Inquiry Support

Sending in a written refund request? 

  • Refund checks are mailed from GTL within 30 - 60 business days after the refund request is processed.

The mission of the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) Programs Division is to offer quality programming concentrated on rehabilitation and re-entry by addressing the mental, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of those in our care.

Programs operates out of the Van-Cise Simonet Downtown Detention Center and the County Jail. To learn more about these locations, visit our Find a Facility page.

Some of the programs that are offered vary by location, however both locations provide the following services:

  • Carey Guides: Self-study journals in English and Spanish to address the following key life areas: Thoughts and Beliefs, Coping/Self-Control Skills, Friends, Family/Relationships, Alcohol and/or Drug Use, Work, School, and Use of Free Time. There are fourteen journals that you can work through and they will be assigned one at a time upon request to Programs.
  • Denver Human Services Outreach: Eligibility determination for health insurance options and food assistance upon release.
  • Religious Counseling and Services: Spiritual counseling through the chaplain and volunteers from outside organizations. Religious items, reading materials, as well as religious diets.
  • Reentry Services: Services to assist inmates through case management, classes, and community resource information prior to and after being released provided by Transition from Jail to Community Collaborative (TJCC).
  • Mental Health Assistance: Mental health screening and therapy provided by the Denver Health team and include mental health Transition Units at County Jail and High Acuity Treatment unit at DDC. 
  • Educational Development: Preparation and testing for those looking to obtain a GED while in custody.

The Downtown Detention Center offers:

  • Productive Day: Provides a wealth of information and enrichment on a large scale to as many people as possible with a limited amount of time available. Productive Day provides education in the form of Cognitive Therapy, Healthy and Nutrition, Overcoming Adversity of by of DVD videos that are played twice daily during specific hours
  • Change Pod: Designed to focus transition resources concentrating on inmates who are motivated for change. The program provides core cognitive, substance abuse and case management sessions and education to assist offenders with establishing a foundation for change that will lead to better decision making and further diminishing the chances of returning to incarceration.

The County Jail offers:

Life Skills

  • Thinking for a Change: Cognitive Behavioral therapy for understanding thoughts and how they control feeling and behaviors.
  • Healthy Living: Relationships, Tobacco Education, Money Management, Family Life and other topics related to leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Job Readiness: Career Assessments, Job Retention and Barriers, Resumes, Interview Process, Networking and other topics related to job preparation.

Substance Abuse Programs

  • R.I.S.E. (Recovery In a Secured Environment): Peer led intensive substance abuse and alcohol treatment program. Priority is given to inmates who are court ordered into RISE. Supported by Empowerment, GEO group, and Mile High Behavioral Health Care.
  • Substance Abuse Education: Substance abuse and alcohol recovery education program
  • Relapse Prevention: Trauma and Substance Abuse education specifically affecting the female population

Other

  • Yoga: For all levels, men and women population. Includes controlled exercise, meditation and breathing.
  • Project Bedtime Story: Allows inmates to voice-record bedtime story reading for young children. Promotes family well-being and connection.

 

Property belonging to a person in our care can be released to someone else as long as the inmate allows, having authorized the release of property. Property requests cannot be completed by mail and property will not be mailed to a requestor--it must be picked up in person. Here is a list of what is needed from the person in our care and the person picking up the property:

Must-Haves for Releasing Property (Inmate):

  • Authorize release of property

Must-Haves for Retrieving Property

  • Valid government photo ID--state or federal--such as a driver's license, state ID, passport, or military ID
  • Fill out property release request at the Downtown Detention Center:
    490 Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204
  • You must be present when the officer presents the property

If property is released to you, you will be responsible for taking all of the inmate's property at that time. You will not be allowed to pick and choose which items will be released. Prior to your arrival, please make arrangements to take the entirety of the property home with you. The facility does not have bags for boxes for toting property.

You cannot drop property off to an inmate. Inmates can purchase sundries, underwear, and t-shirts from the commissary. Inmates are provided shoes and other clothing by the facility.

You cannot bring in stationery, religious items or books to an inmate. However, you can mail books to an inmate directly from a store or publisher.

The intake process includes the following steps:

  • Persons are searched
  • A digital mugshot and right index fingerprint are taken
  • Individuals receive medical and mental health evaluations by medical staff 
  • Property is inventoried and a thorough pat search and metal detector search is performed 
  • Fingerprint cards are sent electronically to the Federal and Colorado Bureau of Investigations for clearance
  • A check for additional warrants is made by the Denver Police Department Identification Bureau once fingerprints are classed and searched

Booking times vary as many things can prolong the identification process–it usually takes 2 - 6 hours to be fully processed through the intake system. The jail has no control over how long the process will take.

ICE holds are immigration holds. Any questions regarding the ICE processes should be directed to the ICE detention center:
3130 North Oakland St.
Aurora, Colorado 80010
303-361-0723

The Transition from Jail to Community Collaborative (TJCC) provides robust and culturally responsive services for people in our care in the Denver City and County jails both pre and post release.

Pre and post release services include:

  • Peer mentorship
  • Case management
  • Vocational Services
  • Mental health services
  • Substance use services
  • Supportive services
  • Job fairs
  • Advocacy

The collaborative is an existing partnership between Servicios de la Raza and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, both of which are dedicated to serving low-income, marginalized individuals whose lives often intersect with the criminal justice system.

TJCC is implementing the Transition from Jail to Community model, providing services, resources, and supportive relationships for medium-to-high risk offenders in jail and continuing through their reentry process back to the community.

Reduced recidivism and increased public safety in metro Denver are the long-term goals of the TJCC.

Services coming soon:

  • Individual therapy
  • Healthy Relationships education group
  • Seeking Safety education group

Please call TJCC for calendar and service updates.

720-510-7030
1391 Delaware St.
Denver, CO 80204

Life Skills
In collaboration with community providers, Life Skills is comprised of various classes and cognitive behavioral treatments to provide offenders the opportunity to gain resources and skills necessary to make improved life choices to lead more responsible and productive lives.

RISE (Recovery in a Secured Environment)
RISE is based on principles that include social learning theory, the 12-Step philosophy, cognitive behavioral treatment, and life skills concepts. Utilization of evidence based curriculum provides tools for recovery and fosters self-efficacy in a structured peer-to-peer learning environment. RISE is an intensive jail-to-community transition program. Partnerships with providers afford opportunities for continuity of care as an offender transitions to the community upon release. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of substance abuse related arrests through provision of peer based recovery support services. Post conviction offenders are housed in dedicated units and participate in programming for at least nine hours per day, six days per week.

Relapse Prevention
In conjunction with community providers, Relapse Prevention is designed to provide an educational foundation to female offenders who have struggled with, or have a history of substance abuse. The weekly program offers information, tools and resources to identify problematic using behavior and implement improved decision-making skills in order to reduce the risk of future relapse.

Project Bedtime Story
In partnership with community providers, Project Bedtime Story provides female offenders the opportunity to learn, understand, and create positive maternal interaction and continued involvement with their children while incarcerated. Mothers are taped reading a children’s book and the tapes are sent to their child to promote family well-being.

GED
In conjunction with community providers, classes, test preparation, and monthly testing is offered to offenders who don’t have a high school diploma or GED. In addition, offenders have the opportunity to continue classes and/or testing with GED providers upon release.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Information

Denver Sheriff takes every report of sexual misconduct seriously and will thoroughly, promptly and objectively investigate all allegations. We treat every investigation in a confidential and professional manner. All victims will be provided with medical and mental health care.

Resources

The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) has a zero-tolerance policy relating to offender-on-offender and staff-on-offender sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct as set forth under the standards of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and DSD Department Order 4100.

“Zero tolerance” means that sexual harassment, sexual abuse/assault, and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in DSD facilities.

Sexual harassment/abuse/assault/misconduct includes:

  1. Offender-on-offender sexual assault, abuse, misconduct, and harassment.
  2. Staff-on-offender sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and sexual misconduct (sexual/inappropriate relationships with offenders).

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed unanimously by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003. It is a federal law that was created to put an end to sexual abuse against inmates in federal and state prisons, jails, lockups, community corrections facilities, and juvenile detention centers. The purpose of the act is to provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in federal, state and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.

The number one reason to comply with PREA standards is that it is the right thing to do. We have a tremendous responsibility to provide for the safety of those whom are entrusted into our care. All offenders who are in the custody of the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) have the right to be free from sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. PREA is intended to address the detection, prevention, reduction and prosecution of sexual harassment, abuse, and sexual assault in all correctional facilities in the country.

A victim may:

  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Suffer a loss of appetite
  • Experience stomachaches and/or headaches
  • Display anger or rage
  • Seem unusually anxious
  • Express concern about their safety
  • Seem unusually detached or withdrawn
  • Have episodes of crying or shaking
  • Not care about their personal hygiene

Anyone who suspects or has knowledge of any sexual harassment, sexual assault/abuse, or sexual misconduct in any juvenile, adult detention or correctional facility should report it to a staff member, volunteer, supervisor, administrator or external authority. Offenders may file grievances, tell clergy or programs staff, medical or psychiatric staff, or talk with a deputy and/or any other staff member with whom they feel comfortable and trust. Anyone who receives a report of sexual abuse in a confinement setting should report the incident immediately for investigation and disposition. All reports will be investigated.

Reports can be made anonymously by friends or family members at any time by contacting any of the following:

 - Any DSD staff member at the facility,

 - DSD Internal Affairs Bureau by phone 720-865-3888,

 - Office of the Independent Monitor

  • By phone 720-913-3306
  • By mail 201 W. Colfax Ave. Dept 1201, Denver, CO 80202
  • Or by completing a complaint form online.

 
 

Mailing Address:

Denver Sheriff Department
P.O. Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Find a Facility
 

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