Denver County Jail Information

The Denver County Jail System comprises two facilities that house 2,200 inmates who have been arrested or are serving short sentences in Denver County, Colorado. These two jail facilities are:

1. The Denver County Jail, located at 10500 East Smith Road in Denver, Colorado 80239. 

2. The Denver City Detention Center, also referred to as the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center or Downtown Detention Center, located at 490 W. Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado 80204.

Search for an inmate in the Denver County Jail system here or call (720) 913-3600. 

In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Denver County Jail System, including bail procedures. Click on a topic to jump to that section:

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The Denver County Jail is located at 10500 Smith Road in Denver, Colorado.

1. How do I find a person in custody?

Click here. When searching for an inmate, you will be allowed to register yourself for inmate notifications and view the inmate's Criminal Descriptor Number, bail and court information. You can also call (720) 913-3642 or the prisoner information line at (720) 913-3600.

2. How do I bail out an inmate?

Call (720) 913-3600 for the latest bail procedures. People may post bail by cash or by using a bondsman. People pay a bondsman 10-15% of the bail amount, and the bondsman puts up the rest. Once the case ends, the entire bond is returned to the bondsman (so that 10-15% constitutes their payment).

Once bond is posted, it may take several hours before the inmate is released. 

 3. Can I phone a person in custody?

Denver 20jail 20phones

No, but inmates may call out. To set up an account to receive calls, contact Securus at 1-800-844-6591.

4. When can I visit a person in custody?

Inmates may not receive visits for the first ten (10) days in custody. To request an inmate visit after this ten (10) day period, click here or call (720) 913-3791. Click here to find the available jail visit days.

5. How do I put money on a person on an inmates books?

By one of three ways:

  1. Go to the kiosk located at the Downtown Detention Facility at 490 Colfax Denver, Colorado 80206, to pay by cash or credit card. Make sure you have the Criminal Descriptor Number (also referred to as the CD #).
  2. Drop off a postal money order at the information desk at the Downtown Detention Facility at 490 Colfax Denver, Colorado 80206. On the money order, include the inmate's name and Criminal Descriptor Number so that it can be applied to the correct person. 
  3. Click here to be redirected to Access Corrections. You need the inmate's Criminal Descriptor Number.

6. Can I send mail to a person in custody?

Denver 20sheriff

Yes. The address is:

Inmates's name and Criminal Descriptor Number (CD)

P.O. Box 1108

Denver, Colorado 80201

Inmates may receive:

  • Legal mail;
  • Personal letters;
  • 25 white envelopes, 25 stamps, two (2) white or yellow legal pads (this amount can only be received by the inmate every 30 days only);
  • Photos that are no larger than five by seven (5x7) inches (the photos may not be sexually explicit, include nude photos, be gang-related, or be poster-size);
  • One (1) religious Bible, Koran and/or five (5) pamphlets; and/or
  • Colored pencils (they must not exceed three (3) inches in length and no more than 12 pencils)

Items not accepted in the mail include: ink pens, spiral notebooks, personal stationery, laminated or plastic cards, stickers, tape, paste/ any item with a glued surface, and correspondence with questionable substances or stains.

All incoming mail is read by jail staff, so do not say anything incriminating.

7. Does the jail have medical care?

Health services staff are available to provide medical, mental health and dental care. If necessary, the inmate can be sent to Denver Health Medical Center for treatment.

Denver's Citizen Oversight Board is calling for the jail to let inmates with infants to store their breastmilk so it could be transported to their babies. Currently, any breastmilk inmates express gets thrown away, in a crude policy called "pump and dump."[1]

 8. Does the jail have a commissary? 

Yes. The commissary is operated by an independent contractor who schedules each housing unit to receive canteen items one day per week. Purchases cannot exceed $175.00 per week. Inmates with items amounting to more than $200.00 in value will have the extra items confiscated. 

Only inmates can make commissary purchases, and only if they have money on their books.

9. Who gets booked at the jail?

The Downtown Detention Center houses anyone arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime in Denver County.

Meanwhile, the Denver County Jail facility houses people serving misdemeanor sentences. It also temporarily houses people awaiting transfer to the Colorado Department of Corrections for their prison sentence.

10. Other information

The Denver Jail System houses a total of 2,200 inmates. When it is overcrowded, inmates may have to sleep on pallets on the floor. But in 2017, the average daily population has steadily decreased in large part to the following proactive city measures:

  • The new Clinical Intervention Response Unit steers people in the midst of a mental health crisis to get help before they can commit a crime.
  • Cops have also been issuing more citations instead of placing people under arrests.
  • Judges are granting more OR releases (where no bail is required).
  • Prosecutors are now required to attend a defendant's "first hearing." In the past, they did not attend until the second appearance. This way a defendant can be released after the first hearing if he/she can make bail.
  • The Downtown Detention Center added staff that works later hours. This expedites the release for some detainees who otherwise would have to stay in jail overnight.[2]

There is an alarming rate of inmate violence in the Denver Jails. Since 2011, the number of assaults between inmates has skyrocketed by 784%. A state committee is currently investigating this issue.[3]

Arrested in Denver? Call a Colorado criminal defense attorney at (303)222-0330

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Call our Denver criminal defense attorneys at (303)222-0330.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Colorado, call our Denver criminal defense attorney for a FREE consultation at (303)222-0330. We may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed completely so your record stays clean. And if necessary, we'll fight for you all the way to trial. 


Legal References:

  1. Michael Roberts, Breastfeeding at Denver County Jail: A Call to End "Pump and Dump", Westword (December 12, 2017).
  2. The Denver Jail Population is Shrinking, Denver Post (July 19, 2017). 
  3. Denver County Jail Under Scrutiny After 2 Serious Altercations Within 3 Months, FOX 31 Denver (November 10, 2017)

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