Getting voters to approve a new downtown jail has always been a hard sell. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper thinks he’s got a new plan to win them over. It has three things the other plans lacked:

The new jail won’t involve higher taxes, there will be a set limit on the size of a new downtown facility, and it will include a new courthouse.

After running the numbers, Hickenlooper concludes the cost of $450 million is worth it. And, he points out, the current jail system is a “disgrace.”

As Lenny Bruce once said, “The only justice in the halls of justice is in the halls.” Denver has needed new halls for a long time. The current Smith Road jail is packed to the rafters. The sooner we get a new criminal justice center built, the better for everyone.