On March 23, 2022, the Pretrial Detention Reform Subcommittee met and selected the Northeast Judicial District as the next pretrial services site to support Ramsey County and surrounding counties.
The 67th Legislative Assembly approved SB 2015 establishing additional funding to expand pretrial services to a new location. Funding for a total of two full-time positions was also provided for the new location.
In the United States, approximately 62 percent of the jail population are being held in some kind of pretrial status. This comes at great cost to both state and local budgets but also to those being detained. Pretrial detainees are often forced to endure financial stressors such as losing their employment and housing. Additionally, pretrial detention contributes to higher rates of criminal behavior in low risk detainees, loss of liberty, damaged reputation, and other social penalties. This all occurs prior to a conviction, often because someone does not have the financial ability to be released.
The fourth site was chosen based upon letters of interest from key stakeholders including district judges, states attorneys, defense counsel, jail administration, and county sheriffs, as well as information regarding pretrial jail population data, possible resources to help support the effort, and examples of innovative and collaborative projects with these and other stakeholders within the judicial district.
“I am pleased that the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is going to expand its pretrial services program into the Lake Region,” said Northeast Judicial District Presiding Judge Donovan Foughty. “The program will enhance public safety and direct folks involved in the criminal justice system into appropriate services.”
To learn more about pre-trial services in North Dakota, please visit https://www.docr.nd.gov/justice-reinvestment-initiative.