More Details of Convention Detention Facility

Denver police officials have released more details on the warehouse detention facility that has been built to hold arrestees should there be mass protester arrests at the Democratic convention.

The arrest-processing center will operate from Aug. 24 to 31 and will be able to detain up to 400 people for short periods of time. The facility also will be able to process about 60 prisoners an hour.

It is expected that those arrested will only be held there for a few hours before being bused to their next stop: the courthouse.

There are a few wrinkles with this plan protesters should be forewarned about. [More...]

No detainees will be released into the neighborhood even if they are able to post bail at the temporary center. Instead, those who are able to post bail will be bused to the Denver County Jail at Smith Road and Havana Street, where prisoners are usually released.

In other words, even once cleared for release, freedom will be hours away, requiring a visit to the antiquated, overcrowded and extremely unpleasant Denver County Jail, located 10 miles away on the Interstate. How clever of them to make it as difficult as possible for the protesters to return.

Even on a regular day, it can take four to six hours to get processed and released from the Denver County Jail once cleared. It's a maximum security type facility that holds those arrested and awaiting trial for murder and violent crimes as well as those doing time on DUI's. It regularly houses 2,000 prisoners even though maximum capacity is 1,600.

Back to the temporary warehouse facility. There is no designated space for lawyers to meet privately with clients. Officals think it's sufficient that lawyers are able to confer with their arrested clients for the first time after arriving at the courthouse.

Mark Silverstein, the ACLU's legal director, wrote a letter Aug. 8 to Lovingier and Manager of Safety Al Lacabe warning that under state statutes the custodian of detainees may not restrict lawyers from meeting with them.

Silverstein is right.

Handouts will be distributed to prisoners, providing information on the booking process and listing numbers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the People's Law Project.

That's helpful, but insufficient.

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    And this is still the USA? (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:18:10 AM EST
    I guess they don't want 1968-type antics. We seem to be heading more towards police style antics. The "free" part of "free speech" and the right to speak with an atty seems to drying up more and more as each day passes! It's all very sad.

    i think i understand the overall plan here: (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:27:08 AM EST
    1. violate their 1st amendment rights to free speech.

    2. violate their right to immediate legal counsel.

    how much are we, the taxpayers, providing to support this plan? or is that a national security issue?

    don't misunderstand, the police do have a legitimate responsibility for ensuring public safety. that said, history has shown that few arrests are made solely on that basis. if that weren't the case, the vast majority of those taken in wouldn't have the charges dropped later.

    it merely serves as a convenient method for moving them out of earshot of the sensitive ears of the convention goers.

    lewis black is right, if these people can't take a little criticism here, why should they be trusted with the power to use our nuclear arsenal?

    Love Lewis Black, and he calls them as he (none / 0) (#7)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:57:54 AM EST
    sees them....this is NOT the America we have known in the past...If half a million protestors show up, what are they really going to do?

    It's gonna get ugly (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by MikeDitto on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:29:23 AM EST
    Police from Colorado Springs are coming in to assist with the convention. They have already proved themselves to be most incapable of handling dissenters in large gatherings.

    Combine that with the segment of the protesters whose intent is to get arrested (not most of them I am sure, but a significant segment--some of whom will undoubtedly be Republican agents provocateurs, as they have done it in the past) and I'm afraid it's going to get ugly fast.

    Good information to have if you are protesting (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:58:40 AM EST
    Thanks for putting it out there Jeralyn.  If I were protesting I would feel somewhat reassured and more in the know having a run down of what to expect if I did get arrested.

    MilitaryTracy....and you are alright with (none / 0) (#6)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:55:25 AM EST
    them trampling all over people's rights cuz one knows what do expect?  This is wrong on every level.  At the rate people are being p!ssed off, they may have a bigger problem than they realize.

    I have the right to protest (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:04:26 PM EST
    but I don't believe I have the right to physically harm another being in doing so.  I happen to be one of those protesters who thinks it is okay if protesting inconveniences swift transit and it makes things seem a bit busy.  Protesting isn't a black and white thing....it is largely gray.  I was afraid though when I got to Crawford Wednesday night and began protesting at Camp Casey Thursday morning when arrests were threatened.  I had no idea what could happen to me.  Knowing what to expect if the worst happens allows arrested protesters to stick to their issue and not lose their way is all I'm sayin.  Now if they mass arrest a few thousand women we all know those chicks aren't going gently into any good night.  If I know what to expect though I'm not as likely to get upset and "act out" and my thoughts and actions will be deliberate and calculated to meet the goals of my protest.

    A good first step in diffusing tensions (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 11:33:02 AM EST
    Next, work something out for a campsite or housing. Not allowing folks to sleep SOMEWHERE pretty much ensures a stupid move.

    Anyone got contacts with Chamber of Commerce? Seems they ought to be interested in helping chill the climate.

    Too bad.... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 12:55:24 PM EST
    the chain link and razor wire isn'tsurrounding the Pepsi center, where the real criminals will be hanging out.

    Then I'd feel safer:)

    It WILL be surrounded by chain link (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 01:34:35 PM EST
    tho not razorwire.

    Your's is, however, a cheap shot.


    Perhaps.... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 02:26:55 PM EST
    I'll take any shot I can at those pikers:)

    It sounds like they'll be bringing... (none / 0) (#4)
    by EL seattle on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    ... the full weight of bureaucracy to the this process.  I'd bet that the bus drivers will be "very careful" while on the road, making sure not to drive "too fast" in the "extraordinary conditions" of the heavy convention traffic.  

    Things like that could add even more time to the equation, all in the name of safety.

    I would have thought... (none / 0) (#12)
    by roy on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:35:47 PM EST
    ...that forcing them to go to the County Jail after posting bail would be illegal as well.  What would a detainee (for lack of a less loaded word) be charged with if he tried to walk out of the processing center after posting bail?

    There's always SOME delay (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:46:23 PM EST
    between posting bond and release. Time to move paperwork, retrieve confiscated personal property, etc.

    How ARE they going to handle property anyhow? It was a total mess in NYC 2004.