December 26, 2012

County’s jail paying its way

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

McLean County’s new Law Enforcement Center is paying its way – and then some. Billing for prisoner housing for November was more than $43,000. The trend has been virtually constant for the past few months. There are bed spaces for 30 prisoners. Since opening in March 2011, the “no vacancy” sign has been hung out more often than not. Occupancy has averaged 30 inmates per day. In November, residency averaged 29 prisoners. Business, if you could call it that, is so good that States Attorney Ladd Erickson said the building could pay for itself in the next few years. “If it stays at this pace, it will virtually be a free building,” he said. The county has contracts with a number of entities, including: Department of Corrections-North Dakota, Burleigh, Morton, Sheridan,  Mercer, Kidder, Emmons, Oliver and McKenzie counties, the Bismarck Police Department and the U.S. Marshal Service.

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