Becker County Reveals New Jail
Construction for the New Facility began in August 2017
With an increase in population size and a need to better serve both inmates and correctional officers, a new jail for Becker County has been in the works since August of 2017. In December, the new and improved Facility was finally complete.
“We needed a new jail because we were boarding out 30 to 40 inmates daily and at the cost of $55 per day,” Sheriff Todd Glander said. “It got to the point where we were budgeting over $500,000 dollars a year just for boarding. The commissioner decided a new jail was the best way to go and is more efficient for the county.”
That efficiency was one of the main focuses in building this new space by creating a place that would house both minimum and maximum security inmates under the same roof.
We were operating the two buildings separately,” jail administrator Paula Peterson said. “So we were having to operate two separate schedules and have two separate staffs of people at two separate buildings and now we will be able to consolidate operations into one building.”
Along with increasing efficiency, the jail is taking a more modern approach through the use of technology.
“As technology has made quite a few leaps in the last 30 years, so too have the needs for adding that technology to corrections in how we supervise inmates, or view them on a camera or, how we track the inmates through technology,” Peterson said.
What has also changed is the goal of the jail. In the new facility, the aim becomes less about containing inmates and more about preparing them for a life outside of prison.
“We are going from a containment philosophy to a management philosophy,” Glander said. “Our goal is to reduce recidivism, so with that, we are going to bring in as many programs as possible to help people be productive in society once they leave here. We’ll have adult basic education and different programs – AA, Narcotics anonymous – that we can bring in with religious groups also.”