Our clients who are considering a sentence in Denver, Adams, or Arapahoe County jail often ask us: “How much time will I spend in jail?” The quick answer to that question is that according to Colorado statute, the maximum amount of time which can be taken off a county jail sentence is 14 days for every 30 days. Each sheriff's department applies credits that are earned for the reduction of jail time at their own discretion. Credits are earned through programs that are specific to each department.
Good Time – C.R.S. 17-26-109(1)
You will earn Good Time credit when you faithfully perform duties in jail that are assigned to you by the sheriff. You have the ability to remove up to two days in any thirty day period. The sheriff determines whether or not you perform your duties faithfully. It is important to understand that inmates can lose Good Time by attempting to escape or violating rules.
Earned Time – C.R.S. 17-26-109(2)
Inmates of the Douglas, Jefferson, or Broomfield County jail have the opportunity to be given Earned Time credits as well as Good Time credits. With Earned Time credits, you can remove up to three days in any thirty day period. Earned Time differs from Good Time. Earned Time credits are gained by completing educational programs that are specific to each sheriff's department in each county (click here to visit the Denver County Sheriff's Department). It is important to understand that Earned Time is a privilege. It is not automatically taken off of your sentence. Also, you may not be able to participate in an educational program: availability, inmate behavior while in jail, and inmate classification are considered when gaining Earned Time credits.
Trustee Prisoner – Good Time – C.R.S. 17-26-115
The opportunity for having the largest amount of time removed from your sentence is by working in or outside of the jail, and by being designated a Trustee Prisoner. The sheriff deputy evaluates the work performance of an inmate, and the sheriff decides whether or not an inmate will be designated as an inmate Trustee Prisoner. You have the ability to remove ten days for every thirty from your sentence with this credit. You must perform your work well and not cause trouble to earn this credit.
Common Misconceptions and Mistakes about Jail Time
Inmates often misunderstand how long they will spend in jail. They think they will automatically receive all available credits for when they are in jail. This is far from the truth. Courts do not involve themselves in the day-to-day operations of individual county jails. Instead, it is up to the discretion of the sheriff as to which programs they offer, and what it takes to get Good Time, Earned Time, and Trustee Prisoner Credits. If you don't get along with the sheriff who runs the jail you've been incarcerated in, there is no appeal process.
If you have been sentenced to a county jail in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, understand that if you are the kind of person who will not cause trouble, and will work hard while serving your time, you will most likely get your sentence significantly reduced from what the judge originally ordered.
If you're facing jail time, don't talk to the police - talk to us. 303-830-0880
- Visit the Denver County Sheriff Department's Website
- More Information Concerning Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson and Douglas County Jails