Colorado’s prison population has grown so much that we can no longer house all the prisoners. For the first time since 2004, Colorado will begin shipping inmates to jails in other states.

The state’s 20,000 beds in the state’s publicly owned and private prisons are at 99 percent capacity, with an inmate population growing by 100 each month, said Alison Morgan, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Corrections…..Morgan said nearly 1,000 inmates sentenced to state prisons are backlogged and housed in county jails across the state.

I wonder, though, are police wisely using resources and arresting the right people? Take this example:

Thirty-one people were arrested Wednesday at a business on E. Warren Ave. in connection with an undercover investigation of alleged illegal gambling, Denver police said Thursday. The department’s Vice and Narcotics Team served a search warrant at 4665 E. Warren Ave. at the ‘KAFENEO.’ Officers collected evidence with the assistance of a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent from its gaming unit. Among the evidence recovered was $3,637.

Maybe it’s time to think about modifying some criminal offenses, particularly lesser econonomic ones like neighborhood gambling, and making them civil violations punishable by fines only. The added revenue could go to covering costs for housing dangerous prisoners and it might alleviate the overcrowding problem and need to build more jails.