PUEBLO, Colo. -

Some repeat municipal offenders may face supervised probation instead of jail time.

It's one of the ways the city is working with the county to mitigate overcrowding at the Pueblo County Jail.

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor is limiting the number of municipal offenders being allowed in the jail because of overcrowding.
 
"It's a policy that was necessary in order to take on higher-risk offenders," said Detention Chief Darlene Alcala, of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

The jail was built to house 509 inmates but the daily population often exceeds 600 inmates.

"We have worked, due to the population increase, to work toward having high-risk individuals in custody and those with lower risk back out into the community," Alcala said.

Pueblo City Council approved a resolution Monday night entering into an agreement with Intervention Inc., a nonprofit community corrections agency. Intervention will provide supervised probation for municipal offenders.

"If we believe that they're an appropriate candidate for probation, then they'll be referred to that agency," said Pueblo Municipal Judge William Martinez.

Martinez told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that he considers the jail overcrowding concerns before issuing a sentence but said that doesn't make or break his decision.

"My sentencing decisions shouldn't be driven by overcrowding," Martinez said. "If there's an offender who has demonstrated that he or she's a risk to public safety, then they should be sentenced to jail and they will be accordingly."

Municipal offenders sentenced to probation who can afford it will be responsible for paying for their probation. The city will pay for those offenders who can't afford it. The cost to supervise offenders is estimated to be up to $50 per offender on a daily basis.