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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Regional jail discussed in northwest North Dakota

  • County officials in northwestern North Dakota are discussing the possibility of building a regional jail to keep up with a growing inmate population.
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  • County officials in northwestern North Dakota are discussing the possibility of building a regional jail to keep up with a growing inmate population.
    People have been flocking to the oil patch as business there has boomed in recent years, and crime has been on the rise. A new jail that was built in Williams County in 2008 was supposed to handle inmate growth for 50 years, but the 131-bed facility that handles prisoners from throughout the region filled up shortly after it opened, Sheriff Scott Busching said.
    Busching and Williams County Commissioner Dan Kalil have talked about the issue with officials from Burke, Divide, Mountrail and McKenzie counties, the Williston Herald reported. They're discussing the possibility of a regional jail managed by a single county, or two smaller regional facilities.
    The ICON Architectural Group has estimated the potential cost at more than $11 million.
    Commissioners are working to determine the number of beds needed in a new facility.
    "You plan for a maximum possible and add 60 percent — then you might be close," Busching said.
    Commissioners also are determining what the cost would be to each county. They're expected to release their findings this month.

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