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Jail numbers dropping

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 8th, 2013

Brookings County Detention Center Administrator Bart Sweebe holds one of the jail’s Intoximeters up to the walk-by window where DUI offenders come to take their twice-daily sobriety tests. The tests are the main component of the county’s 24/7 program, which Sweebe and Sheriff Marty Stanwick say has been decreasing the average number of people in jail. Photos by Charis Prunty/Register

• Sheriff, jail administrator credit alcohol accountability program for inmate reduction

BROOKINGS – About the time Marty Stanwick became sheriff in 1999, the county was beginning a study on prisoner space needs inside the Brookings County Detention Center. There were generally too many prisoners and too little space.

“We were kind of busting at the seams. At that particular time, we hadn’t remodeled the upstairs yet, either, so everything was on the main floor,” Stanwick said. “We only had 30 beds and were at maximum all the time.”

Things are different now. The jail’s top floor – formerly living quarters for a sheriff and his family – has been renovated and can house 24 prisoners in the work release program. But the jail often doesn’t need that space: On Dec. 31, Stanwick reported that he had just seven people in jail.

Seven isn’t typical, but Stanwick and Jail Administrator Bart Sweebe have watched their average prisoner number drop over the past several years, and they point to an alcohol accountability program as the reason.

For the complete article see the 01-08-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-08-2013 paper.

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