KEYC - Martin County Justice Center Could Be Seeing Changes

Martin County Justice Center Could Be Seeing Changes

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FAIRMONT, Minn. -

In Fairmont, the justice facility could be seeing some changes to help improve safety and security.

Since 1974, these two buildings, the courthouse and jail, have stood side–by–side, providing Martin County a structure to house inmates, conduct trials and assist law enforcement.

But father time is beginning to catch up with the facility, forcing city officials to think about ways to help improve its stability.

One of the main concerns resides in the jailhouse, where the number of beds isn't keeping up with the number of inmates that come in each day.

Martin County Sheriff Jeff Markquart said, "We can hold 25 inmates and 36 is what we're averaging with our daily population. So, we spend a lot of money on out of county placements."

In 2007, a similar study showcased many of the same issues within the law enforcement center, including lack of space to accessibility to the public.

The city decided it was best to manage the resources they had at the time, but a decade later a new study came out in July and on Tuesday, members of the justice center study committee presented the board with findings and options concerning the future of the buildings.

County Coordinator Scott Higgins said, "Some of the objectives for the current study is to look at our facilities for the next 20 plus years and to also address any program deficiencies while looking at both safety and security."

Martin County Chief Deputy Corey Klanderud said, "The board needs to figure out how they can best support it and fund these projects and to whatever level it needs to be. We're going to work with whatever decision is made and make the best out of it."

The committee also laid out 4 different options for how these changes can be met, either by building a whole new complex off–site or simply expanding on the structures that have been in place for the last 44 years.

No timetable has been set for when a decision will be made on the potential changes going forward.

- KEYC 12

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