Census Released: SUN Forced to Include Inmate on Board


The recent census which included a lot of information about Stapleton, was mostly filled with facts that are not surprising. Stapleton has a higher percentage of children under 10 than Denver as a whole, has a Hispanic population of 5% compared to Denver’s 31%, and has a much higher median household income than the total Denver population.

The biggest surprise comes when looking at who is being counted in the census. “We take into account all residents in a district,” says lead Denver census project manager Bryan Mosley. “Technically, the jail is a residence, so we absolutely count them.” In fact, for the East Stapleton residents (East of Central Park Blvd), over 3,000 residents from the Denver County Jail and Women’s Correctional facility are counted in the areas population.

Of course, this skewed a lot of the data in the census considering the jail populations consist of almost 25% of all of Stapleton (13,948). The numbers are actually helpful to Forrest City in showing the city of Denver they are living up to their promises in creating a diverse community. “We cannot control who moves into the jail,” says Forrest City President Phil Dargossi. “If the numbers help us, great. We are excited to finally have a residual benefit to having a jail so close by.”

The biggest issue for the community comes with representation. The SUN Board has a strong policy of making an effort to include a diverse group on the board, both culturally and by location. “We definitely have several members from the EaWe community,” says SUN Board President Grant Bearbower. “What we don’t have is someone representing the 25% of people living in our community near Smith Road.”

SUN had reached out to the jails one month ago when it received the early census results. The jail was allowed to elect its own member for SUN. The jail election was won by inmate Kevin Hudson. “I’m really excited,” says Hudson. “I have always been interested in politics, and who knows, when I get out of here, I may look into it as a career.” Hudson is serving a five year stint for distributing illegal narcotics.

Hudson will be at the next SUN meeting in early April, where he will be escorted by two guards, and shackled to the table. “I’m very excited to meet my fellow board members and bring them some new ideas,” says Hudson. Hudson will be required to go to meetings, otherwise face expulsion if he misses too many. The most interesting thing to come of this may be finding out what is worse: being in jail, or going to SUN meetings.

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One response to “Census Released: SUN Forced to Include Inmate on Board”

  1. Swoops

    They already did such an amazing job with the three color changing lights right outside the jail. You can barely even tell it’s a correctional facility anymore.

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