What kind of jail space does Rice County currently have?

The Rice County Sheriff’s Office operates two county jail facilities, a 35-bed linear-style main jail facility which includes a mixture of minimum, medium, maximum and special housing units along with dormitory style housing. This facility manages both male and female inmates. The main jail facility was built in 1972 with a total of 30 beds to serve the county and is located in the upper floors of the Law Enforcement Center. 

In the late 1990s, six additional beds were added, bringing the total beds to 36 (the MN DOC authorized capacity is listed as 35 though its operating capacity is 80% of that total). In 2011, the county procured a vacated Army Reserve site on Hwy. 60 in Faribault and moved 32 inmates to be housed in the annex facility. 

The second facility is the Minimum-Security Jail Annex facility which is licensed to house 36 individuals; however, it currently has only 32 beds. The Annex, built in 1976, is also linear in design and primarily used to house work release inmates and minimum custody individuals. The Annex was closed in spring 2022 due to concerns with COVID-19.

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1. What kind of jail space does Rice County currently have?
2. Are jail admissions rising in Rice County?
3. If the number of inmates isn't projected to rise significantly, why build a new jail?
4. What is planned for the current Law Enforcement Center when the new facility is finished?
5. Is solar energy part of the project?
6. How is the Public Safety Center being financed?
7. I see new roads on the plan. Who's building those?
8. Why not keep the Main Jail as a 90-day facility and partner with Steele County for inmates serving longer sentences?