Olmsted County Avoiding Staffing Issues Plaguing Other Jails
The Minnesota Department of Corrections ordered the Beltrami County Jail and Ramsey County Jail to reduce their inmate capacities. In both cases, the DOC said a lack of staffing was creating unsafe conditions for inmates.
Some of those inmates could be transferred to the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center in Rochester, says Olmsted County Sheriff’s Work Release and Staff Development Captain Macey Tesmer. She confirmed that administrators at the Ramsey and Beltrami County jails reached out to Olmsted County about taking some inmates but said she isn’t aware of the outcome of those talks.
Tesmer said the Olmsted County jail is one of the few in the state not dealing with staffing shortages. The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office’s annual report says the Adult Detention Center hired 15 new detention deputies last year.
Tesmer says the jail is staffed by 11 personnel during the day working in the jail’s housing and booking areas as well as being an extra body that’s able to provide assistance when needed. The number of staff on hand declines after 10:30 p.m. when detainees are secured in their cells.
She says ADC staff perform a variety of duties from welfare checks to securing detainees in court, conducting programing for detainees, supervising the county’s work service program and training other colleagues. She says the jail does have protocols in place in the event staffing shortages caused by sickness or other factors occur.
Tesmer says staffing shortages can create safety and behavioral issues in jails because inmates remain locked in their cells if there are not enough staff to safely escort them to their programming activities.