Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mesa County honored for pretrial justice reforms

Mesa County officials this week accepted the prestigious Criminal Justice Innovations Award from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The award was given for the evidence-based pretrial and bail and bond reforms implemented in Mesa County over the past three years. These reforms were developed by a pretrial committee consisting of judges, prosecutors, public and private defense attorneys, criminal justice practitioners from Mesa County Criminal Justice Services and law enforcement personnel from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

This achievement award was given to Mesa County for the innovative and collaborative design of new bond guidelines and pretrial practices, including the implementation of an evidence-based risk assessment, and data-driven bond guidelines. The reforms have changed Mesa County’s bail system from a primarily money-based decision process to a primarily risk-based decision process. The Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool is now used in Mesa County to assess each defendant who is arrested on new charges and booked into the jail. A risk profile is then generated from the assessment, which helps judges evaluate the defendant’s risk of being charged with a new crime or failure to appear in court if they are released on bail.

According to recent research, no correlation exists between posting money as a condition of bond and court appearance and public safety. Mesa County judges are now using the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool to help make bail and bond decisions. Since implementation of the bail and bond reforms, local data has shown that judges are setting bonds that result in the detention of more high-risk defendants and the release of lower-risk defendants.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mesa County's 2014 Capital Improvement Projects Summary

Earlier this month, Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden presented the 2014 Capital Improvement Program summary to the Mesa County Commissioners.

It's a summary of capital improvement projects completed in 2014.

Among the highlights are these transportation projects:

  • Curves at 33 1/2 and D 1/2 Roads and 32 1/2 and D Roads in Clifton. Cost: $750,422
  • Sidewalk on south side of F 1/2 Road in the vicinity of Thunder Mountain Elementary School. Cost: $607,000
  • 2,000 linear feet of street reconstruction on KE Road starting west of Hwy. 65, continuing across Mesa Creek through the intersection of 48.5 Road. Also: replacement of a culvert and rock excavation. Cost: $646,000 (half paid by Department of Local Affairs grant)
  • D Road reconstruction between 32 Road and 32.5 Road. Project also included installation of storm drain features and a detached sidewalk on the north side of the road. Cost: $760,334.
  • Constructing a new "T" free-flow intersection at the newly created Hookless Boulevard and U.S. Hwy. 50. Project included the obliteration of an intersection at the CDOT maintenance facility at mile marker 38.82 on U.S. Hwy. 50. Cost: $733,835
  • 3,500 linear feet of street reconstruction on K Road from 19 1/2 Road to 20 2/10 Road and replacement of the box culvert for the canal crossing. Cost: $1.3 million
  • Intersection and road improvements on the curve at 21 Road and K Road. Cost: $493,148
  • Reconstruction of 2,300 feet of existing road on 45 1/2 Road, which is a transportation corridor between the towns of Mesa and DeBeque. Cost: $1.89 million (half paid by DOLA grant)
  • Replacement of more than 300 culverts, bridges and concrete boxes. Cost: More than $600,000
  • Stormwater drainage projects. Cost: More than $345,000