Rugby Jail on Probation - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rugby Jail on Probation

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Two administrators have been placed on leave and the Heart of America Correctional Center in Rugby is on probation with the state Department of Corrections following inspections over the past few months.

A prisoner escaped from the jail this summer, and another prisoner jumped from a moving transport vehicle several weeks later.

Those incidents prompted a security audit by the Department of Corrections early this month.

And the result of that inquiry was a noncompliance order for the facility for 18 months.

In addition, the jail administrator Mary Richard and the director of security Joey Cotton were placed on paid leave for 30 days.

Steve Engen, the director of staff development and facility inspection for the Department of Corrections, reported on the situation to the Pierce County Commission last week, showing them video of the June 21st escape of Wesley Brown-the-third.

Engen says the Department of Corrections had often used the Heart of America Center to house prisoners, but pulled out all of its inmates at the end of August after the second incident.

He said final findings of the security audit will be made official within 45 days and the facility will have to correct problems that were found in order to be re-certified.

Pierce County Sheriff Matt Lunde says key issues raised in the investigations have been corrected and the facility is open and operational.

Engen says the Department of Corrections hopes the jail is brought up to standards because many agencies depend of it for housing inmates and the region depends on the jobs provided by the jail.

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