- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - State-ordered oversight of the Ward County Jail will continue into next summer as the facility works to meet federal standards.

A state investigation into the death of a jail inmate late last year found the jail’s care “grossly inadequate” and led to an order for the jail to change its operations or face closure.

The investigation found the jail had been violating laws and rules, including not providing medical physicals to inmates and operating above inmate capacity with insufficient staffing. The jail also didn’t send nine correctional officers to approved training within the first year of employment, according to the investigation.

The county is responsible for paying for a state compliance officer. Sheriff Steve Kukowski told county commissioners this week that the on-site monitoring will continue into next June, the Minot Daily News reports (https://bit.ly/1Q6Km1m ).

Kukowski said the jail eventually will exceed standards and will be a model for others. He said the jail has adopted improvements recommended by the state monitor.

“Things are going well,” Kukowski said. “Really, it’s just following up on what we are doing to make sure we are doing the right thing.”

As of Tuesday, the jail had 83 inmates, below its capacity of 104 inmates. Kukowski said the jail is on its third class for training corrections officers, and that one more class will be offered next month to have staff fully trained.

The sheriff said he also hopes to bring staff from the state penitentiary to look into the jail’s medical procedures and make recommendations on how to improve them.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com


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