Mesa County, Colo -- The Alternative Sentencing Unit (ASU), which the Mesa County Sheriff's Office has operated since August 2007, is no longer accepting new clients. The ASU, who has seen over 1500 clients come through the program in the past nine years, is expected to shut down this summer.
Although the ASU has been a beneficial sentencing option for some individuals convicted of low level felony and misdemeanor crimes, the program has remained underutilized despite efforts to increase its population. Sheriff Lewis has determined the cost to operate the ASU versus its utilization is no longer fiscally responsible to continue. As a steward of taxpayer dollars, it is important that we consider the viability of each of our programs.
All current Mesa County Sheriff's Office employees working at the ASU, have been provided the opportunity to remain employed with the Sheriff's Office in the Detentions Division.