Valley Jails Are Doing A Booming Business - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Valley Jails Are Doing A Booming Business

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  The business of housing prisoners in the Red River Valley is booming.

  The Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston has seen some of the most dramatic rise in the number of prisoners. When Crookston's, Northwest Regional Corrections Center opened in 2008, it averaged 115 prisoners a day. Now, officials say the numbers are flirting with its capacity of 200 prisoners a day 

Phillip Greer: "We see a tremendous amount of drug arrests in our 3 counties as well as DUI arrests. Where we see our business coming from Federal services is the U.S. Marshals."

  Ironically, Greer says it's the North Dakota oil boom that's responsible for the big spike in prisoner numbers, here in Crookston.

 Phillip Greer: "The Federal inmates are usually housed in local jails. Local jails are all full in western North Dakota, so they have to look for other options."

  And besides federal prisoners, this jail already serves Polk, Red Lake and Norman Counties. Plus, it's working on contracts to bring in prisoners from Mahnomen and Clay Counties.

  It may not be a great reflection on our society, but those added prisoners bring in extra money to help foot the 10-million dollar a year budget of this jail.

Phillip Greer: "These monies do nothing but help us as an organization to attract staff, build training and buy equipment. So, it's been a good deal."

  In fact, Greer says they expect to bring in 1-million dollars this year, housing federal, and prisoners from other counties.

   In Fargo, the Cass County Jail is also reporting a spike in the number of inmates, because of more federal prisoners from western North Dakota.

  The Cass County jail has a capacity of 300 inmates and is currently housing an average of 250. 

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