Minors in jail, laws keep them away adults

Mireya Garcia, Telemundo Anchor/NC13 Reporter, Twitter: @Mireya_G, m.garcia@krdo.com
POSTED: 05:18 PM MST Jan 28, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

17-year-old Macyo January is just one example of how minors can face adult charges for serious crimes, but must be kept away from adults during their detention.

January is facing charges for the murder of Fort Carson soldier David Dunlap and his wife, Whitney. He will be facing charges as an adult for the murders, but a judge declared that he will remain in the Spring Creek Youth Facility, for now. January could be moved to the adult jail at a later time.

As it turns out, if January were moved to the Criminal Justice Center, not much would be different.

Officials with the El Paso County Sheriff's office said they have 8 beds available for minors between the ages of 14 and 17 who are facing adult charges. However any detainee that is a minor must be kept away from adults while in jail.

"We have to take special precautions, special care, to ensure that when they are removed from their housing area that they are not escorted with adults, that they are not interacting with the adults in the facility," said Undersheriff Paula Presley.

Even if the minors are taken to the clinic for health reasons, adult inmates cannot be around.

Presley said there is at least one minor facing adult charges in the jail at any given time.

January will be in court later this week, and at that time a judge could decide to transfer him.

Once a detainee turns 18-year-old they can be housed with the general adult population.