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County's female prisoner population reaches record high 

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The El Paso County jail's female population reached a record high with 364 inmates, according to a Sept. 26 statement from the El Paso County Sheriff's Department.

"Our female inmate population now takes up five of the 25 wards at the El Paso County Jail. We continue to be strategic and come up with alternative solutions to manage the growing female population," Sheriff Bill Elder states.

It isn't just a local phenomenon: The number of imprisoned women in Colorado increased 58 percent between 2000 and 2018 — more than twice the rate of increase for men, according to a September report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. The same report found that in 2016, felony drug possession convictions increased by 24 percent for women, compared to 17 percent overall.

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