The Gunnison County jail is a 120-bed detention center located in the Rocky Mountain college town of Gunnison, CO, about a half hour south of the Crested Butte ski resort. The facility houses men and women who have been arrested in the area or are serving sentences for a Colorado misdemeanor or felony crime.
Situated about 124 miles from Grand Junction and 166 miles from Colorado Springs, the jail is accessible by highway 285 or highway 50. The facility is part of the Gunnison Public Safety Center at 510 West Bidwell Avenue, and the phone number is (970) 641-1108.
For incoming inmates and their friends and families, there is much to know about the Gunnison detention center and its policies. Our team of Colorado criminal defense lawyers provides the information below, addressing the following topics:
- 1. Locating a Gunnison County Inmate
- 2. Bail Bonding Information
- 3. New Inmate Check-In
- 4. Telephone Communication
- 5. Jail Fees
- 6. Funding Gunnison Inmate Cash Accounts
- 7. Visitation at the Jail
- 8. Mail for Inmates
- 9. Detention Center Health and Safety Practices
- 10. Work Release for Inmates
- 11. Speak to a Defense Lawyer
1. Inmate Status
If you are searching for an inmate, the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office provides an online Inmate Status Report. The report has a complete, updated list of those currently incarcerated in the jail. The data includes
- date of arrest,
- criminal charges,
- sentence imposed,
- expected release date, as well as
- bail bond information.
Note that juvenile detainees cannot be kept at this jail, and will be transported directly to Colorado Youth Services in Grand Junction.
2. Release Through Bail Bonding
Bail bonding allows many inmates to obtain freedom from incarceration pending resolution of their charges. The nature of the charges and the criminal history are factors in the determination of bail amounts. Some (few) detainees are released on a personal recognizance bond, meaning they are allowed to leave without providing payment or collateral property.
Bail can be paid by the inmate or his or her family/friends. In the event the accused does not appear in court as ordered, money and property that is posted may be lost. For a more detailed discussion of bail issues, please see our pages on bailing someone out of jail in Colorado and what happens if you violate bail conditions in Colorado.
After an inmate is booked into the Gunnison County jail and a bond amount is ordered, family or friends can come into the Sheriff’s Office to pay the bond in cash. Payment is accepted every day, 24-hours a day. You must bring the exact amount owed, since change cannot be provided. The staff cannot accept checks or credit/debit cards.
The other option is to use the services of a licensed bondsman, who will post bail for you. A percentage fee will be charged to post the bond. To locate a bonding agency, simply look in a phone book or online directory.
3. Inmate Check-In
To begin a sentence at the Gunnison County jail, incoming inmates must arrive no later than 15 minutes from the appointed reporting time. If late, new arrangements will need to be made with the court judge. Drug testing will be performed at the jail, and if an inmate arrives under the influence, the sentence will be delayed and the judge notified.
Incoming inmates may bring one paperback book into the jail (which must remain as a donation to the library). Don’t bring
- cell phones,
- electronic devices,
- jewelry (including wedding rings and body piercings) or
- e-cigarettes or
- medical marijuana
Inmates are permitted to bring in prescription glasses or contact lenses. Lens solution should arrive in a newly purchased, sealed bottle.
4. Phone Calls for Gunnison County Inmates
Inmates and detainees are not permitted to take incoming calls at the jail, and the staff will not relay messages for inmates unless there is a verifiable emergency. Phones are readily available for inmate use on a “collect call” basis. Inmates are assigned a phone pin and can make outgoing calls when they are in the dayroom area.
Phone calls are limited to 15 minutes; the connection automatically terminates at that time. The calls are collect only, which means the recipient pays for the call.
Be aware: all calls from the jail are monitored and recorded, and any incriminating statements can be used against the inmate in court. The exception is privileged communications with legal counsel, which will not be monitored.
5. Assessed Fees for Inmates
There is a $30 booking fee, which should be paid as soon as possible. An unpaid booking fee will be subtracted from any funds intercepted at booking or deposited for commissary use. The booking fee is often paid along with the bail bond.
In addition, inmates who are sentenced to the Gunnison County jail must pay a housing fee to cover costs of their care. This fee, which ranges from $5 to $30 a day, is assessed on a sliding scale according to income. Housing fees are due weekly on Friday.
Inmates may also be charged co-pays for medical, dental, or mental health care and prescriptions while incarcerated. A current health insurance card should be on file with the jail. (Medicare does not pay for healthcare while incarcerated.)
Payment arrangements for any unpaid balances must be made before release from the detention center.
6. Inmate Cash Accounts
At the time of booking, all cash in the detainee’s possession is placed in an inmate cash account. For inmates with a sentence of 10+ days, the cash account can be used to order commissary items, such as
- entertainment items,
- some toiletries and clothing, and
- writing materials.
Orders are placed Sunday evenings and items are delivered on Tuesday.
Family and friends can drop off or send a money order or cashier’s check for deposit into an inmate’s account. Money orders should be payable to Gunnison County Detention Center, and the inmate’s name should be included on the memo line of the check. (Note: the money order must be signed by the purchaser or it will be returned.) Personal or payroll checks and credit cards are not accepted.
It’s important to understand that if an unpaid debt is outstanding, any money deposited in the inmate’s name will be used to pay it. Money that remains at the time of release is returned to the inmate in check form.
7. Visiting a Gunnison County Inmate
Go to https://inmatecanteen.com for online video visitation. There is no in-person visitation for the foreseeable future.
Prior to COVID:
Visits of 30-minute duration are allowed at the Gunnison jail every day except Friday. Holidays that fall on visitation days retain the normal visitation schedule.
The schedule is as follows:
6:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Tuesday through Thursday
8:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
2:00 p.m.- 4:45 p.m.
6:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
Friday: No visitation
Saturday and Sunday:
8:00 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.
2:00 p.m.- 4:45 p.m.
6:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
Family visits are done through a video screen accessed in the lobby, and conversations are subject to monitoring and recording. No face-to-face visits are allowed, other than visits with attorneys and other professionals. Visits by professionals (with proper ID and credentials) take place between 6 a.m. and 10: 30 p.m. These visits are not monitored.
Rules for visiting a Gunnison inmate are as follows:
- Visitors must be 18 or older unless accompanied by an adult parent or legal guardian.
- All adult visitors must present state-issued photo identification.
- You may visit one inmate per day only.
- There is a dress code for visitation. Revealing clothing, including strapless or sleeveless tops, is not allowed. Inappropriate slogans printed on clothes are also unacceptable.
- You may not visit an inmate if you are on probation, on parole, or have an unsettled criminal charge on your record.
- Behavior considered to be inappropriate during visitation will end the visit, and further visitation privileges may be denied.
8. Policies for Mail
Inmates are allowed unlimited outgoing correspondence as long as they have funds to pay for postage, envelopes and paper. These funds can be provided through the inmate’s cash account.
You can mail letters to inmates using the following address:
Gunnison County Detention Center
510 W. Bidwell Ave.
Gunnison CO, 81230
Note that all mail will be opened and inspected. Other than a few limited items, objects should not be enclosed within the envelope. If impermissible content is received, the envelope will be returned to sender with a note explaining the reason why. (The inmate will also receive this information.) Mail that is marked “Legal” will be opened by a deputy in front of the inmate.
Photos may be sent in specific sizes: 3 x 5”, 4 x 6” or 5 x 7”. Magazine pictures are not allowed. Hand-drawn pictures 9” x 11” or smaller are acceptable, but should not contain nudity, gang insignia or hate speech.
Paperback books may be ordered to be shipped to the inmate directly from the publisher or vendor, such as amazon.com. (No hardbacks.) These books will be retained for the jail library. Note that inmates are only allowed to keep three books at a time, including jail library books.
9. Health and Safety at the Gunnison County Detention Center
According to the Sheriff’s office, Gunnison County is committed to providing for the safety, security, and health of inmates in the jail. Inmates receive access to medical, psychiatric, and dental care, as needed, and consideration is given for dietary needs. Written orders from a doctor should be provided ahead of time regarding medical conditions or dietary requirements.
If medication (non-narcotic only) is needed, a physician must fax the prescription to PDC Pharmacy before the inmate arrives at the jail. Over-the-counter drugs must also come from this pharmacy. Medications cannot be brought in to the jail by the inmate or family.
Inmates are housed according to classification, normally within 72 hours of arrival. Privileges are provided according to the classification level, which may change if behavior becomes a problem. The detention center offers many programs for the benefit of inmates, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and religious services.
There is a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse or assault in the Gunnison County jail. The Sheriff’s Department prohibits any type of sexual activity in the detention center, including consensual sex.
Inmates can request help from a deputy using a call button in his or her cell or from the day room. They can also fill out a “kite” form to report problems or request help.
10. Work or School Release
Inmates can participate in work release (or school release at the university) if this opportunity has been granted by the judge. A work release packet (available in the lobby) must be filled out first, and approval obtained by the Gunnison County Detention Center. This paperwork should be completed prior to arriving to serve your sentence.
Work release is only available to inmates serving a 10+ day sentence and the job or school must be in Gunnison County. Proof of employment or enrollment is necessary. Work or school schedule should not exceed 60 hours per week, 10 hours per day or six days per week.
There is a daily fee for work release participants, and you must also pay for the cost of drug testing. More information about the Gunnison County jail work or school release program is available here.
11. Help From a Criminal Lawyer
Remember, you can fight a Colorado criminal allegation with the help of an experienced defense lawyer. In many cases, you can beat the charge or avoid harsh penalties, such as a jail sentence and a permanent criminal record. Seek help today by calling (303) 222-0330, or schedule a free consultation by contacting the Colorado Legal Defense Group online.