About Us - Denver Justice Center

The Denver Justice Center is a renovation of Denver’s existing Criminal Justice system. The courts and jails have been chronically overcrowded for well over the last decade. The overcrowding has created unsafe conditions for the Sheriff’s Department, inmates, and the general public. Denver’s new Justice Center is designed to alleviate the overcrowding and create a more efficient system.

Denver operates two jails; one downtown at 14th and Cherokee (The City Jail) and one at Smith Rd. and Havana (The County Jail). The two jails have a combined capacity of 1,672 inmates. They consistently hold over 2,000.

Denver’s City and County Building houses the Criminal and Civil, the County and District courts, the Mayor’s Office and City Council. The courts have outgrown the building and six courts are currently housed across the street in the Sheraton Hotel.

The Denver Justice Center will remove all Criminal Justice activity from the City and County Building.

On May 3rd, 2005, Denver voters authorized $378 million for the construction of a Courthouse, Detention Facility, Parking Garage, and renovations at the County Jail.
The project will be funded by General Obligation Bonds issued by the City.


Owner Project Requirements

LEED Environmental Certification

The Denver Justice Center Campus will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designated buildings as new construction.  In addition to LEED certification the design teams are implementing green building strategies to ensure maximum waste recycling, maximum demolished product re-use, and long-term operations that are environmentally friendly.

Progress Update:  The Post Office/Parking Garage building received a Silver LEED Certification from the US Green Building Council.

Public Art

This the largest single public art commission in the history of Denver.

Phase II Public Art Semi-Finalists Selected

As the artists selected for outdoor public art commissions work through preliminary design phase, the Justice Center Public Art Selection Panel has turned its attention to the interior spaces of the Courthouse and Detention buildings.  The Panel met and designated three main areas inside these buildings for public art commissions and eleven artists were chosen to return and present proposals to the Panel on June 5th & 6th, 2008:

Courthouse Jury Room Mural Wall semifinalists:

Stephen Batura (CO), Melanie Fredericks (CO), Horatio Hung-Yan Law (OR), Garin Baker (NY) and Emanuel Martinez (CO).

Courthouse Atrium Area semifinalists:

Ralph Helmick (MA)  and Lewis DeSoto (CA)

Detention Facility Rotunda Area semifinalists:

Garrison Roots (CO), Paul Housberg (RI), Catherine Widgery (MA), Jim Hirschfield (NC)

Women and Minority Business Enterprise Program (W/MBE)
This program is the first City project to adhere to New Women and Minority Business Enterprise Program (W/MBE). The largest portions of the Justice Center construction contracts were structured to accommodate the new W/MBE program.  A goal of 12% participation has been recommended by the W/MBE Construction Goals Committee.