Built in 1966, the Clay County Jail is the oldest jail in the State and has far exceeded its life expectancy. Due to state mandated changes in cell size, classification and other building requirements, the jail has lost 6 of the original 96 beds available. Limited to a 75% operational capacity, the jail houses an average of 30 inmates at other facilities every day, incurring a cost of more than $545,000 per year.
The Clay County Jail in Moorhead sits just across the Red River and North Dakota. On average, 30 % of jail inmates are North Dakota residents. According to jail officials, this percentage continues to rise as a result of the recent Bakken Formation oil boom in North Dakota and the rising criminal behavior and enterprises that develop along with such population increases.
Clay County is requesting $13.78 million to build and equip a new 188-bed jail for the county. The total project cost is $24. 7 million.
Clay County jail officials say the age and outdated design of the jail, coupled with the substantial population increase over the last several decades, has rendered the jail grossly insufficient.
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