November 10, 2023 at 3:44 p.m.
WALKER — Sheriff Bryan Welk requested the board approve an agreement with Itasca County for Jail Facility Housing for the next three years at the commissioner’s board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7. Currently the sheriff’s department contracts 40 beds with Crow Wing County and will give written notice with the intent to terminate the existing agreement effective May 31, 2024.
Sheriff Welk mentioned the agreement with Itasca County is also for 40 beds at a $56.55 daily per diem cost, that would be an approximate savings of $170,000 per year. It was also mentioned Cass County will have access to the mental health wing and will be charged $80 per day until the inmate is transferred out of the jail. Another benefit Sheriff Welk mentioned was if an inmate were to need to be transported to a medical facility while in custody at Itasca County Jail, Itasca County will provide security services for up to 24 hours to allow Cass County to dispatch a deputy. Currently the county only has two hours to dispatch a deputy to a medical facility if an inmate is transferred.
County Attorney Ben Lindstrom, when asked, stated the change would allow for better access to inmates for judicial procedures.
Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk requested the consent agenda item regarding approving the cancellation of Sheriff’s office outstanding checks from 2022 be moved to the regular agenda for more explanation from Sheriff Welk. Gaalswyk stated his question was why the county is writing checks for such little amounts as several of the checks were for under $10 and if the recipient does not have a bank account somewhere they would be charged $20 to cash a check. Sheriff Welk, along with Lieutenant Chris Thompson, stated when someone is booked into the jail all loose change is put in with their personal belongings but any cash is put into a automated machine to be added to their spending account while incarcerated. The inmates then use that amount or any amount that may be added to the account to purchase necessities or snacks. The money is also used to pay booking fee and outstanding bills if they were incarcerated previously. Therefore, most inmates will spend down their account to avoid paying past fees. A motion was then made to approve the cancellation of the Sheriff’s office 2022 outstanding check and approved unanimously.
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