Thursday, February 12, 2009

New County Jail a Waste of Money

Stevens County is planning on building a 40 bed, $15 million jail. Well, you say, they might need it. Wrong. Stevens County has less than 10,000 people. It is rumored the current jail facilities include a chair and a metal latch in the wall to chain prisoners to. Is that sufficient- no, well maybe... Stevens County currents spends about $200,000 a year to ship its relatively few inmates to Willmar, about an hour drive. So, of course it makes sense to build a FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLAR jail that can hold 40 people. In this economic downturn, $15 million is too much for the taxpayers of Stevens County to handle. Postpone the project until savings are built up and the taxpayers are in a better situation. Why spend millions to build (the $15 million doesn't include operating costs) when it only costs $200,000 a year to ship them to Willmar... Fiscal irresponsibility.


  1. I can confirm the the current jail is a chair chained to the wall in the booking room where the mug shot is taken.

  2. Is there something wrong with that? jk

    I realize that our facilities are lacking, but couldn't they just build a few holding cells in the basement instead of building a brand-new $15 million jail?

  3. 1. The law states that every county in Minnesota must provide jail cells, I am not sure how many. Included in the 15 million is also the renovation of the current law enforcement center, sheriff's office, and courthouse. I will admit the current facility is ugly and extremely dated. The dispatch equipment is from the 1970's, they have to buy spare parts on Ebay because they haven't been produced in so long.

    In closing, I think there needs to be a renovation and a jail built, however, I don't think the jail needs to have more beds than the hospital (26).

  4. Taken from the article:

    The Law actually states "Each County shall provide at the county seat, and keep in good repair, a suitable courthouse supplied with fireproof vaults, a suitable and sufficient jail and other necessary buildings."

    Thompson explained that the DOC does not enforce that statute "that literally so we say that every county has to have a county jail."

    He noted that because the statute's language says the county “shall” that it usually means you have to do it. But he said that the department interprets the statute as preventing a county or organization from building a jail somewhere other than the county seat.

    So, I don't think we NEED a jail. I think we could just repair our two crappy old little cells into a more modern crappy cells.

  5. Your "two crappy little cells" don't meet code. There are much bigger issues. I think that having all of the county offices in one building would also be an asset. We wouldn't have to pay rent on other buildings to house these offices either. I'm not sure you understand that it will cost the same amount of money to build a 40 bed facility. The county could then charge other counties for the use instead of us having to pay other counties. It would also provide more jobs here.

  6. Who is going to pay us money? There are no agreements with other counties!

    What is your point about "I'm not sure you understand that it will cost the same amount of money to build a 40 bed facility."??? It will cost millions more if we build it versus not building it...

  7. The concerns are a lot bigger in Stevens county than if and/or when they are going to build a jail. The "mob" has taken over. They threatened our elected officials, our county commissioners. The "mob" threatened a commissioners family by actively pursuing an unjustified boycott of his son's business to force him to change a vote. The mob" hired a private investigator to track this county commissioner so as to force him out of office. This is not how the United States of America works. This "mob" was headed by Charlie Berg and the big money farmers of Stevens County. It truly is a sad day.