The Tri-County Corrections Board met on Thursday in the Northwest Regional Correction Center (NWRCC) and received updates on the Red River Valley Juvenile Center.
JUVENILE SECURE-DETENTION FACILITY SET TO RE-OPEN
The juvenile center has only had the non-secure detention portion of the facility open for operations for nearly ten months. The staffing shortage and maintenance issues were amassed in 2022 and 2023 at the facility, which caused the shutdown.
NWRCC Executive Director Andrew Larson was pleased to inform the board that the re-opening of the secure-detention side of the facility is coming soon. “We are targeting the week of February 19 to re-open,” said Larson, “As I indicated to the board, we need to be mindful. We don’t want to re-open too quickly because a lot of our staff are still new, and they need to get acclimated to the job.”
Since the secure-detention side of the facility closed, the NWRCC took a revenue loss during the 2023 fiscal year. With only the non-secure side open, it cut the capacity of the building in half, which ultimately affected the budgeted line item for revenue by nearly $400,000. “When we can’t accept those referrals for placement,” said Larson, “It then has an impact on our ability to generate revenue, which also helps offset county expenses.”
NWRCC APPROVED FOR TWO YEAR GRANT
Larson informed the board that the NWRCC was selected by the Community Crime Intervention and Prevention Program to receive a two-year grant worth $500,000 per year. “The application we submitted is to continue our pretrial supervision program,” said Larson, “We’ve been operating this program for a couple of years now under grant funding. This will allow us to continue this for an additional two years, but more importantly, I think it will allow us to expand our capability with people who are released from jail or have substance abuse disorders; they will continue to receive SUD-specific services.”
Nearly $350,000 of the grant funding (per year) will be allocated toward employee salaries and benefits within the program. The rest of the funding will be used for testing supplies, program evaluations, technology fees, and testing kits.
TRI-COUNTY CORRECTIONS BOARD RECEIVES FOURTH QUARTER AUDIT
The Tri-County Corrections Board received the fourth quarter audit for the NWRCC, which pertains to the auditing from October 2023 through December 2023.
The total revenue the NWRCC collected in 2023 was approximately $10.8 million, which was 98% of what was initially budgeted for. The total expenditures disbursed over the year were nearly $11 million ($10,848,000), while the jail had budgeted for $11 million. After facing a year full of financial challenges, Larson expressed that he was pleased with the overall budget. “For an 11 million dollar budget, we were pretty close,” said Larson, “There were things that happened that were very fortunate, like the community acts subsidy, that helped offset things, and that was 33% more than what we would have typically received. That helped offset our shortages in per diem.”
The loan consent agenda item was the approval of minutes from the January 8 board meeting. The Tri-County Corrections Board will meet again on Monday, March 11, in the NWRCC conference room.