Fort Lyon Correctional Facility Profile and Valuable Information
Once upon a time in Bent County...
Once upon a time, Fort Lyon was a U.S. Army outpost. The Army used it from 1867 to 1897. In 1906, Fort Lyon saw the light of a new day when it was opened again and used by the U.S. Navy as a sanitarium for the treatment of marines afflicted by tuberculosis. It fell under the purview of the Veterans Bureau in the year 1922. In 1933, the building was redefined as a veteran psychiatric facility. Until 2001, it’s purpose was to serve as a mental hospital, and the U.S. federal government shut it down.
Thereafter, it was handed over to Colorado State. At this point, it became a detention center, housing low-risk detainees. This was the scenario until 2011. Prior to this, there was a proposal to design this facility as an institution for inmates whose health had been compromised, physically or mentally. When it was a prison, the community benefitted in more ways than one. Many employees were members of the Las Animas city where Fort Lyon stands.
These were good jobs they had; well paid and with perks. When the prison shut down, the community was in a tizzy, but residents maintain, to this day, that Fort Lyon has always had a legacy of wellness and wellbeing. Now Fort Lyon is no longer any of the above. As it lives and breathes today, it is an institution that makes support available to homeless people, especially to veterans who are homeless. It is a residential facility that gives peer support, along with education, vocational guidance and training, and employment-related services.
Most of those who are aided by the programs of this facility are recovering substance abusers and people with mental health issues. The rehabilitation that this facility offers helps people retain their health and purpose, so they may lead fruitful lives in the community. The services of this facility, now called the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, are open to people who need help, across the State of Colorado.
Fort Lyon Correctional Facility: Some More History
When it was built, it comprised of two buildings; designed as a military fortress in the style of the colonial revival. The original first one built, known as Fort Flauntroy, then Fort Wise was damaged in a devastating flood in 1866. A new one was built, and this is the current Fort Lyon near Las Animas, Colorado. The fort is part of one of the structures in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Fort Lyon National Cemetery, attached to the property of the Fort Lyon complex, began burial services in the year, 1907, and is open to this day. The United States Army relinquished the Fort after the Indian Wars.
Fort Lyon as a prison
The aim of the State of Colorado in making Fort Lyon into prison was two-fold; to create a facility for aged and mentally compromised prisoners, and the prospect would be easier and more convenient than building a prison from scratch. Locals were wary of this proposition because it meant that they wouldn’t stand a chance of getting employment against the Department of Corrections employees. The prison had more than 500 inmates, a number way higher than initial estimates.
It housed prisoners with moderate psychiatric conditions, but far from the kinds of conditions originally predicted to require serious care. The Colorado Department Corrections had a hard time getting quality medical staff; the nursing staff comprised only half the amount of nurses initially planned for. Maintenance costs for the prison sky-rocketed as the building was ancient and was in need of continuous repair. Fort Lyon soon became one of the most expensive prisons to run in Colorado.
Information about Fort Lyon
Fort Lyon, now known as the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, has its address at 30999 CR 15 Las Animas, CO 81054. You can check other details on its website at https://www.coloradocoalitio.org