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County Trying to Solve Juvenile Detention Center Space Problems - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

County Trying to Solve Juvenile Detention Center Space Problems

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County officials say the Cass County Juvenile Detention Center is taking up space at the jail they can't afford.

Officials say they need more space for adult inmates and the growing number of juveniles being held at the Cass County Jail.

"The jail space that we're using is a lot more conducive to safety and security, but like I said we're just not using so many beds that we could house adults in," says Judy Tollefson of the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

The juvenile facility moved from the Annex building across the street from the Cass County Courthouse a few years ago. Officials say that building wasn't built for today's juvenile offender.

"Now a lot of our population is serious crimes like armed robberies. That's been a really common one...or more serious felony-level offenses," says Tollefson.

The jail also doesn't allow the average 7-9 detainees enough time outside of their cells, since they have to separate genders, so today the building committee met for discussion.

"What can we do to guarantee that our juveniles are taken out of the adult pod and that our kids can be out at the same time without having to put sheets up and run through everything we're running through right now?" says County Commissioner Chad Peterson. 

The county is looking into many different options to try to create more space, one of those being expanding the jail. Remodeling the Annex building is also being considered, with preliminary plans looking to be passed in front of the board in August.

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