Stearns County Jail is Full: Looking at Larger Jail Facility
Stearns County Officials are meeting with the National Institute of Corrections this afternoon. Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall will be attending that meeting today.
Kendall says the National Institute of Corrections is talking to people all across the Criminal Justice System about the space they use in their jails. She says 15 years ago they looked at how they use their jail and prioritized who needs to be locked up. Kendall says those they are "afraid of" deserved priority over those they are "angry with".
Kendall says out of their study 15 years ago the Domestic Violence Court was born. She says when the National Institute of Corrections looked at their data it became clear that the people cycling through the jail were domestic violence offenders and repeat drunk drivers. At the time this reduced the number of people in jail.
Kendall says violent crime is up and the jail is back to being full. She says the National Institute of Corrections is back to take a look at what they will need in the new jail. Kendall expects the new jail to be twice the size of the current jail but where it is located and how this can happen is what is being discussed today. She says:
When you look at a big expenditure like this you have to make sure you do it right.
Kendall expects some treatment facility aspects as part of this that they can really use. She is really looking forward to moving ahead with this because it is a big need. If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Janelle Kendall it is available below.