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Commission continues jail discussions

By Staff | Sep 20, 2013

The Pierce County Commission convened for a special meeting on Sept. 17 to discuss the current situation at the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center.

More action on the HACTC may be taken on Sept. 20, when the HACTC Advisory Board is scheduled to meet where they may discuss restructuring of the facility.

The jail was given a Noncompliance Order by the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation after security breakdowns at the facility.

There was some question about whether to restructure the Advisory Board as well, with more regular meetings.

Dave Migler said he felt the commission has not been as heavily involved as it should be. The HACTC completed some of the necessary actions to return to compliance.

Migler said he wanted the advisory board to meet earlier, but was told that jail was in flux while an outside security audit was going on.

“I feel like we’ve been left out of the loop there,” he said.

The commission also discussed the progress at the jail, including current prisoner count and expectations moving forward.

Also on the agenda was the Community Service position.

At its last meeting, the commission met with representatives from Bottineau County and McHenry County, which share the position with Pierce County.

Both Bottineau and McHenry Counties wanted a full-time employee in the position, but the Pierce County Commissioners favored a 4/5 position, saying that there wasn’t the money to fund the position at full-time and that the job didn’t warrant a full-time position.

There was some question of why the receipts for community service didn’t add up to the number of people using the program.

After a lot of discussion, Migler made a motion to keep the job at 4/5, and it was passed, with Joe Bohl and Mike Christenson also voting in favor.

The commissioners said if they get an employee in place and the job was generating adequate funds and starting to necessitate more hours, they would change it to full time.

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