Mesa County is located in rural Western Colorado, centrally positioned between Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado. Though relatively small in population compared to the urban areas of Colorado, Mesa County is growing. It exercises considerable influence in Colorado criminal justice circles and has a history of leading change, due in part to its former Sheriff who now directs the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
Mesa County’s Safety and Justice Challenge team is led by the Sheriff’s Office, which provides the only detention facility in the county, in cooperation with the Mesa County Criminal Justice Leadership Group. These entities have a history of collaborative leadership aimed at criminal justice reform, including an effort to reduce jail overcrowding that led to the creation of an inpatient drug treatment program and facility in 2007. In recent years, Mesa County has been a successful participant in the National Institute of Corrections’ Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative.