List of issues revealed in inspection report for Clearwater Co. Jail

(MGN Online / Mitchell Haindfield / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT
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CLEARWATER COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - A recently released 21-page inspection report from the Minnesota Department of Corrections revealed a long list of issues at the Clearwater County Jail in Bagley.

Issues noted by the inspector include staffing shortages and maintenance concerns within the facility. The report, which was conducted in late August, states that the facility is operating at low staffing levels. The jail can hold up to 38 inmates, but only has enough staff to handle 25.

The report also states that staff have not been adequately identifying and reporting maintenance issues.

“The Clearwater County Jail is in a much more state of decline when compared to jails that are 20 to 25 years older. This appears to be in large part due to lack of maintenance, replacement, and needed upgrades,” the inspected said in his report.

The inspector reported finding mold growing from a medical exam room table and floor tile separating throughout the jail with debris in the gaps. Inmates were housed in pods that contained cracked glass that was jagged to the touch.

An inmate was housed in a cell that had a large opening to a plumbing chase and was not secure. Plumbing fixtures were removed from cells, but it did not appear that piping was capped, which the inspector said may allow sewer gas in the facility.

When it comes to bathrooms at the jail, the inspector said lights were not operational in some of the showers or were strobing to the point where it was uncomfortable to keep your eyes open. The shower had days or weeks of old soap and wrappers left in it and the toilet bowl was black and had not appeared to be cleaned in some time.

Inmates also reported that they’ve tried to address sanitary issues without success. An inmate demonstrated when they flush the toilet, water pressure sprays on his bed and on the floor of the cell.

“This summary of maintenance issues does not encompass everything that inspector saw but should highlight the need for immediate action,” the inspector wrote.

The facility will now undergo yearly inspections.