Weld County Jail

My name is Sean. I have battled with alcohol addiction for 16 years. Alcohol was at the root of all my transgressions and caused turmoil in my life. I have attended intensive outpatient treatment, court-ordered alcohol classes, weekly and bi-weekly therapy, the Salvation Army, and most fortuitously, Alcoholics Anonymous. I have also determined the best mental health medication and advice from doctors. The past included many painful relapses and hospitalizations. I once sat in Weld County Jail among violent career criminals and proud killers who told me that I will end up in prison or dead if I continue to drink. Life put me at the ultimate crossroad – incarceration, death or begin the road to recovery. Unfortunately, jail is no place for an addict to recover. Inmates are given space and time for sobriety but abstinence is forced and not oriented towards rehabilitation. Weld County Jail does not have adequate resources to allow for mental and physical recovery.

The jail has a voluntary program which provides counseling for inmates who suffer from substance abuse and also employs a psychiatrist. The wait time can take weeks or months to access these services. A small staff of counselors meets with clients on a weekly basis to prepare inmates for life in the community after release. Clients are given workbooks and must be self-motivated to complete tasks each week. Addicts who are not in jail very long may be unintentionally neglected and have no opportunity to begin a path to recovery, whereas long-term inmates only get weekly counseling and prescriptions. Behavioral therapy that benefits an addict becomes challenging because addicts must return back to a criminal population after counseling sessions. Therapy may be supplanted by prolonged exposure to criminal behavior.

Weld County Jail faces another challenge of providing inmates with proper nutrition. Food services are provided by an outside vendor and meals are planned by a registered dietician. The jail serves the same meals on a monthly basis which contain very few servings of fruits and vegetables. Correctional officers bring their own meals, despite being provided a tray at every meal. Given the choice, they would not eat the food made on-site. Identification worn by inmates depict a face that has undergone significant weight change since initial confinement, regardless of physical activity or the amount of food eaten. Nutrition is not an exact science however, it is well understood that diets which lack variety are unhealthy. Eating the same thing for an extended period of time is detrimental to physical health. This type of diet is not helpful for the addict who neglected their nutrition due to substance abuse. Physical recovery is hindered by poor nutrition. Both physical and mental recovery would benefit from a more balanced diet.

My alcohol abuse has given me an intimate look into a world rarely seen, hard to escape and easily forgotten by law-abiding citizens. Inmates may benefit from forced abstinence and regular meals but addicts remain untreated once they enter Weld County’s criminal justice system. There are real people with feelings, families, hopes, and dreams that are misunderstood and easily dismissed as criminals. We must give opportunities and provide public resources to those who want to help themselves. Weld County Jail is not the proper environment for an addict. I beg that you do not forget about other inmates who have similar plights and need help. Some are forever lost but most can be saved.

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10 thoughts on “Weld County Jail

    1. I’d suggest finding a local jail and see what volunteer opportunities they might have. It’s critical to talk to people in jail and ask them what their specific needs are. I find the most valuable things for incarcerated people is learning to be kind and having hope. Look up https://humankindness.org/ I think you’ll find more answers there and I believe they are in Duram , NC.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What an amazing organization! I’m ordering the volunteer book as we speak. Thank you so much for your advice. I have personal experience with relatives/friends and incarceration, and just found it to be such a totally heartbreaking situation. I would love to help in some way.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. This is the truth and nothing but the truth Sean short you are a good person to be doing things like this I spent some time at this very same jail with you and it was inadequate but serves its purpose I needed punishment to see my actions were inadequate it’s a learning lesson that is needed for people to realize that the struggle is real addiction is a struggle I got some help through this very jail we spent time in the food sucks and you don’t have the proper help there but change is a thing that is a choice you must choose to be different to become something different it’s all about the choices you make in your life that can direct to the right place you want to be doing the next right thing is the only way to live

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice post Sean, yes there needs to be better help for addicts in jail so they don’t go back to the same life they were living before and end up right back in jail again. ❤️✌️

    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

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