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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the total size of the detention center?
121,000 square feet

What is the size of a typical cell?
A regular cell is 70 sq. ft. and contains 2 beds.  The handicap accessible cells are 110 sq. ft. and have just 1 bed

What is the capacity of the detention center?
Our total capacity is 170 beds but the DOC has set our operating capacity at 153 detainees; this allows for any internal movement needs and for classification adjustments

What was the total cost of the detention center construction?
$9.9 million

Why are there no bars?
Bars are expensive to construct, maintain and are not conducive to the Direct Supervision Model.  Modern building materials make bars an obsolete method of security

How are the doors operated?
Doors are operated electronically with emergency key override; each unit has the capability of controlling all of the cell and inside parameter doors from the officers station within that unit; master control can override any or all unit controls at any time.  All other doors within the facility are controlled by master control

Why are there so many windows?
Increases line of sight for staff observation and efficiency.  MN Department of Corrections standards require natural lighting.  Windows from individual cell sleeping areas to the outside are frosted to eliminate communication and obscene gestures between the detainees and the public.  This also eliminates the ability for the detainees to track employee movement as they come and go to work

Are all the cells the same?
No.  Each housing unit has a handicapped accessible cell and a separate “Time Out” cell for locking down unruly detainees for short periods.    The 26 cells in the Special Management Area are equipped as high security cells with heavier doors and locks and stainless steel fixtures.  The Direct Supervision Model allowed us to utilize fewer high security cells at initial cost savings of over $1.5 million.

How many detainees are booked in annually?
In 1999, the last year we were in the old jail, the county booked in a total of 1381 detainees.
In 2000, the first year we were in the new facility, a total of 1670 detainees were booked in.  These numbers have steadily increased since that time and we now average just under 3000 bookings a year.  This translates to about 8 new bookings per day.

How many beds may be used for boarding from other facilities?
Any beds not being used for Goodhue County Detainees can be used to board detainees from other jurisdictions.  Although our facility size is placed at 170, our official operating capacity is set at 153 and we strive to stay within that number.  In July of 2000 our average daily population was about 45 detainees with ¼ to ½ of those being boarded in from other jurisdictions.  In 2001 our average daily population increased to around 112 with about 2/3rds being boarded detainees.  We now average between 120 and 130 detainees daily with ½ to ¾ being boarded in.  We do a large board trade with the surrounding counties and the southeast corner of the state, with Dakota County housing the biggest number; on average 40 +, but we also house large numbers for Winona, Wabasha, Houston and Dodge Counties and lesser numbers for Mower, Fillmore, Freeborn, Rice, and Waseca Counties.  We will however accept boards from any jurisdiction within the state that needs the beds; provided we have the beds available.

How much is the per diem charged to other facilities for boarding detainees?
Our normal per diem charge is $60.00. This charge can fluctuate depending on the current economic climate.  We will however enter into “preferred status contracts” with other facilities.  Those facilities that can guarantee a minimum number of boarders for a period of time to exceed 30 days can be offered a per diem as low as $50.00 depending on that number.
Revenues collected for boarding detainees since opening have varied somewhat but have generally exceeded budget predictions.

Revenues by year from January 2001 through December 2008   

  • 2001    $   735,562.00
  • 2002    $1,166,547.00
  • 2003    $1,506,380.00
  • 2004    $   841,165.00  
  • 2005    $1,173,426.00
  • 2006    $1,022,356.00
  • 2007    $1,224,256.00
  • 2008    $1,017,500.00
  • Total   $8,687,192.00

What types of detainees can be placed in the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center?
The detention center can house any and all detainees, except juveniles, that are sentenced, pre-trial, awaiting bail or arraignment as directed by law for felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor offenses.  Charges range from traffic offenses to murder.

Is the staff safe in this type of detention center?
Absolutely; the “Direct Supervision Model” has been proven to be a safe working environment.  In fact it has been proven to be much safer than the traditional linear style jail facility.

What weapons, if any, is staff allowed to carry for protection and security?    
Chemical spray agents (pepper spray) are issued for use in controlling non-compliant detainees who are demonstrating violent behavior.  This chemical agent is used in conjunction with communication techniques and use of force training.  No staff are issued chemical until they have been fully trained in how and when it should be used.

What kind of training is required of staff?
Initially, staff must complete approximately 200 hours of pre-service training in areas of Direct Supervision-Concepts and Philosophy, interpersonal communications, use of force, first aid, CPR, Minnesota laws, rules and standards governing jails, report writing, recognizing infectious and communicable diseases, recognizing mentally ill persons and suicide prevention.  There is an additional shadowing period of between 80 and 100 hours where each new deputy learns the specific duties associated with each assigned area and post.  We also have a required minimum of 40 hours of in service training conducted annually for all staff to provide for refreshers and updates.

What is the detainee improvement account?
Profits generated from the sale of commissary vending services, phone call commissions and sale of pre-paid phone call cards go into the Detainee Improvement Fund.  By law, these funds can only be spent on items and or services that directly benefit the detainees.  This account has been the only source of finance for our entire programs and services department, which are quite expensive.

What is a booking fee?
A booking fee is a fee that is charged each person that is booked into the facility and will be incarcerated.  As established by state law, we charge a $10.00 fee each time a person is booked on new charges and will be held in the facility immediately following the booking.

What are co-pays?
Co-pays are fees that are charged to the detainees for medical, dental, and mental health services and prescribed medication needs; current co-pay fees are:

Medical/Dental                     $5.00 each new occurrence

Mental Health                      $5.00 each new occurrence

Prescription Medications        $1.00 for each new prescription or refill


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