The Inmate Property department at the Arapahoe County Detention Center in Englewood, Colo., had outgrown its storage space. The laundry-garment rack system not only was overloaded and inefficient, it had become a safety issue. With frequent breakdowns and bags falling apart and off hangers, staff would often have to crawl beneath the racks to retrieve what they needed. The outdated system needed to be replaced and capacity expanded, yet adding more space was not an option.
"Headquarters had already installed high-density mobile storage systems for property and evidence storage and records, so I knew what I wanted," said Inmate Property Supervisor Sue White. At her supervisors recommendation, White contacted Phyllis Aragon at Spacesaver to work out a solution.
The department, which stores both long and short-term inmate property, also needed capacity to grow with the inmate population, which can range from 850 to 1300-plus at any given time. "With our small area and high volume, we had to get very creative with our vertical and horizontal space," said White.
With Aragon help, they designed a powered, high-density mobile storage system that would optimize both the horizontal and vertical space, effectively doubling the storage capacity for inmate property, which is now stored in labeled totes on shelving adjusted to fit. "The Spacesaver mobile system has cut down dramatically on lost property," said White. "It has also reduced the ugly smells that come along with maintaining personal property. It was an instant storage solution."
With the space saved by the powered mobile system, the department was able to add a mechanical-assist mobile system with larger shelves in the same area for bulk property like backpacks, TV sets, sometimes an inmate's entire life history- longer-term items that were previously in satellite storage and
only accessible through doors· that people in other departments had to open and close.
A wall of stationary shelving was also added for inmate property awaiting processing into the system and everyday materials like inmate-issue clothing, forms and supplies.
"Having items clean, neat and easy to access has greatly reduced the stress on the staff and made their lives easier," said White. "We even have open space for expansion. Right now it's being used as a break room for the staff and storage of inmate bedrolls, but those areas can easily be reconfigured at a later date to add onto the existing system."
"The Spacesaver system is wonderful," said inmate property staff member Nancy Cox. "it has certainly made our job more enjoyable and less stressful! And lost property is no longer a problem."
"The new Spacesaver system has made things much more convenient for us," said Charlotte Thomas, another staff member. "We now have all the property in one room. Not having to walk to another pod for bulk items has doubled our efficiency."
"The Spacesaver mobile system has cut down dramatically on lost property. It was an instant storage solution.”
-Sue white, Inmate Property Supervisor
"The old bag system was a nightmare," added staff member Shari Finger. "But, as busy as we are, the best thing about the Spacesaver solution is probably the time it saves us. We are open 24/7 and constantly accessing that property."
The Spacesaver mobile system has cut down dramatically on lost property. It was an
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