- Associated Press - Monday, July 31, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has announced that full-time monitoring of the Ward County Jail is ending.

The decision announced Friday followed the department’s day-long inspection of the jail last week, The Minot Daily News reported .

“We have been waiting for this quite a while,” said Alan Walter, a Ward County commissioner. “We are glad it’s over. It was costing us quite a bit of money.”

The monitoring began more than two years ago, following an investigation into the October 2014 death of inmate Dustin Irwin. The investigation revealed various jail compliance violations, including failure to train staff.

Department officials said in a statement that the jail “has made significant progress since the Non-Compliance Order issued on December 18, 2014.”

The jail now has an in-house program for training its correctional officers, which is expanding to offer training to other agencies, including department employees. Other improvements include revising policies and bettering medical services to address violations found in the jail’s care delivery.

“Facility leadership has developed substantially as well,” department officials said in the statement. “Value has been placed on ensuring all essential services are provided to those incarcerated.”

To ensure continued compliance, the department will complete on-site monitoring of the jail twice per month.

“Overall, the jail is running a lot more efficiently and smoothly,” said Bob Barnard, Ward County sheriff. “We look forward to continuing this level of compliance.”


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

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