The words “jail” and “prison” may seem interchangeable and criminal lawyers or defense attorneys who throw them around frequently may forget to explain the differences. These terms couldn’t be more different, and it’s imperative to know what you may possibly be facing if police contact you about sex crime charges in Edgewater, Aurora, or Lakewood. It is helpful to break down the differences in two ways: geography and time spent incarcerated.
Colorado Jails Run by County Sheriffs
Each of the 64 counties in Colorado has their own jail which is run by the county sheriff. Denver, Arapahoe, and Adams County all have a jail where they send individuals after they have been arrested on suspicion of or having been caught in the act of a crime. This is the first stop in the criminal justice proceedings after an arrest in Larimer, Weld, Douglas, and Jefferson County. An individual is arrested and taken to the county jail where they will be held until bond is set (usually the next day) and will only have to stay there until they are bonded out.
What Are Jails For?
Jails are also utilized when individuals are convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Those types of crimes usually have a maximum two year sentence and don’t normally require any type of intense rehabilitation, job training, or therapy. There are instances, though very rare, where sex crime charges of Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist (CRS 18-3-405.5), Unlawful Sexual Contact (CRS 18-3-404), or Indecent Exposure (CRS 18-7-302) could result in a jail term as opposed to a prison sentence. With sex offenses, mandatory sex offender treatment and therapy is common.
Colorado Prisons Overseen By Colorado Department of Corrections
Colorado prisons are overseen by the Colorado Department of Corrections, as opposed to the county sheriff, and there are a total of 24 prisons in Colorado. Nineteen are run publically and five are run privately. A lot of times, judges or district attorneys may refer to prisons as correctional centers or correctional facilities. The government reasons that since they are sentencing someone to a lengthy prison term they should be rehabilitated and receive treatment. This way they can be ready to return to society after they have served their sentence. Prisons are reserved for a person who is convicted of a felony crime. Sexual Assault (CRS 18-3-402), Aggravated Incest (CRS 18-6-301), and Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-6-403) are all felony crimes with possible prison time.