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As arrests go back up, space is tightening at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center

Local News

The coronavirus hasn’t affected hiring at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center, according to the Burleigh County Sheriff.

But it has affected the facility, as a whole.

Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben says the department is spending overtime money to make sure anytime there’s a new arrest brought in, that person is quarantined for a full 14 days. And if an inmate leaves the facility for court or any other reason, they have to start that process all over when they return.

Sheriff Leben says it wasn’t as difficult to enforce in March, but now that arrests are going back up, they’re simply running out of room for isolation.

“So there’s kind of a balancing act, and we have two of our employees assigned to work on that. And they’re doing an excellent job, but it’s every day. You’re looking at, ‘Okay how long has this group been isolated? When can we move them? Can we consolidate some people and free up other areas?'” he explained.

Arrests are still down compared to this time last year. In May of 2019, the detention center booked 749 inmates, compared to 208 in May of this year.

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